Have you ever participated in a group meeting that was poorly run? It can drive you nuts. I got stuck in one of those meetings recently when I was asked to evaluate a particular church's group ministry. I went incognito. They had no idea who I was. It was fun but chaotic to say the least. When I arrived, no one greeted me or extended any kind of welcome. I sat down. No one interacted with me. I waited for the meeting to start. It did, about 20 minutes later than it was supposed to. There were no refreshments. The leader stood up and said, "Well what do you guys want to do tonight, anybody have any ideas?" I kid you not. I thought I was in small group hell. It was awful.
Now, I hope that you have never experienced anything like this. I would like to think that this was a worst-case scenario (that actually happened, aaah!). I believe it is absolutely necessary that group leaders plan an agenda for every group meeting. Remember we are part of an incredible mission—to make disciples. We do not meet just to meet. There is a purpose. As we think about planning our small group gatherings, we must first ask and answer a few questions:
- What is the purpose of our group? Is it tied to the great commission?
- What kind of group are we: covenant, seeker, support, task or something else?
- Are we an open or closed group?
Regardless of how you answer these questions, every group should have a basic group agenda that includes time for:
- Connecting people on a human level (having fun together)
- Connecting people's lives with biblical truth
- Connecting people on a soul care level
You can flesh that out in many different ways. For example, closed discipleship groups may include worship as a part of their meeting, while open seeker groups may not. Some ...