Small Groups—Our Current Small Group Structure is a mix of "fully-functioning" groups and short-term ones for families or adult affinity groups as well as weekly groups for teens. At our "max" in 2004, we had 9 Family/Affinity Groups & 6 Teen Groups
# in Small Groups – 130
Our congregation is a 130-year-old congregation in a rural community of 700 people where we are the only evangelical church in town and, in fact, the only one in a 6 town "radius". For a large part of our history (100+ years), we existed as what I would term a "family" church. One where most additions came through pregnancy. The small number of other additions came when people from our church heritage moved into the area and sought us out.
Less than 5 years ago that began to change drastically. Our Worship attendance began to grow on a regular basis and most of those coming were coming from little or no church background or from a background of religion but not relationship; with the majority coming from Catholic backgrounds. Seemingly overnight, we became a congregation with more spiritually immature (milk-only) members/attendees than mature ones. At almost the same time, we contributed to the planting of a congregation in a nearby city which had us sending even more of our mature members elsewhere. That left our Eldership with a pressing realization that we needed to make disciples and we needed to make them in the most biblically productive way possible. That decision led to the hiring of a Discipleship Minister (me) charged to encourage our congregation to grow toward a closer relationship with God and one another and to develop their gifts for service. I became convinced, through study and experience, ...