Getting into the FLOW of Small Groups

A case study of a Midwestern church that, as it grew, was looking for a way that could make the church smaller as it became larger.

Background

This Midwestern non-denominational church which was planted 30 years ago currently has a Sunday worship attendance of 400-500 (combined in 2 services) and 26 adult small groups (13 which meet during a Sunday school time slot and another 13 which meet outside of Sunday mornings). Total adult participation in small groups approaches 200 people.

The church was started as a small group and grew around solid Bible-based teaching and a rural friendly family-oriented appeal. As the church grew, community primarily happened organically and through affinity-based adult Sunday school classes. The region around the church building began to transition from a rural setting to a suburban setting with housing and commercial developments growing rapidly. As the church began to grow with the community, a second worship was added and more small affinity-based Sunday school classes were launched. However, Sunday school growth (and facility growth) was not keeping pace with visitor growth. By the mid-90's, the church leadership decided to add additional staff to relieve some workload from the Sr. Minister and provide a new structure for discipleship and growth through small groups—a way that was perceived could make the church smaller as it became larger.

The Vision and Leadership Environment

The Small Group Ministry Vision was to connect everyone in the church to a small group for discipleship and care. The staff and elder's role was to be the small group leader's front line people, leading and maintaining contact with small group leaders and coaches and modelling encouragement and care to them.

A small group director was hired from within the congregation in 1997 to oversee and be the point person for the small group ministry ...

article Preview

This article is currently available to SmallGroups.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

Related

Experience Group Conversation Prayer
Experience Group Conversation Prayer
How to turn your group prayers into a real conversation with the Holy Spirit
Christmas Activities for Your Small Group
Christmas Activities for Your Small Group
Celebrate the season with these festive ideas.
Build Community Through Communion
Build Community Through Communion
Lead your group in the Lord's Supper at your next meeting.
God, the One and Only
Depend on our solid-rock and safe-harbor.
Falling in Love with God
Reflecting on the beautiful attributes of God
Helping Your Group Connect with God
Helping Your Group Connect with God
Practical ideas for small-group worship