From CE National’s On Mission Insights:
In order for a church to thrive as an active community unit, relationships must be nurtured. Small groups are meaningful conduits for these relationships to thrive. The difficulties of small groups include raising up leaders to oversee these groups, create a working form of communication within these units, and dealing with interpersonal issues that arise from close contact ministry. But we would like to argue that the benefits outweigh the cost.
Fostering Community. The natural response of humanity is to crave intimate relationships. While coming to church for a weekly worship service is vital to the growth and development of a believer so is a nurturing community aspect. Fostering a spirit of community through small groups is one way to provide an interactional environment in which your congregations have an opportunity to share in each others everyday life, both their joys and sorrows.
Creating Healthy Teams. Once a small group has formed connection and relatability with one another, a natural follow up is for those groups to do ministry together. This does not necessarily mean that they need to head ministry departments as a group. Instead, think of small groups as a functioning unit which might be able to tackle ministry moments which need a small labor force. This can range from anything from Christmas outreach, work days, mission trips, owning a segment of VBS, or a range of short term options.
Preventing Relationship Breakdown. While investing into small group leaders may take a significant investment from your leadership team and staff, it is worth it to raise up leaders who can stand shoulder to shoulder with you in forming healthy, nurturing everyday life groups. It is within this context that lay counseling, prayer, and a listening ear can be offered to your congregation on an individual level. This is a key step in preventing relational breakdowns within members of your church.
Question: What holds you back from small groups? Why does your church do small groups and what benefits have you seen? (Answer in the comments below.)