Ten Church Strategies: The Small Groups Strategy
The local church can make a lot of mistakes, and people won’t leave if it can get one thing right: relationships. I’ve seen this happen many times. People will learn to deal with leadership weaknesses and minor inconveniences in a church setting when they have developed authentic relationships. You have probably heard the terms ‘front door’ and ‘back door’ in terms of people joining or leaving a church. Developing a relevant and effective small groups ministry will make a huge impact on closing that ‘back door’.
In this installment of ‘The Ten Church Systems‘ I’ll talk about creating a means by which church attendees can grow, express care, and ultimately ‘be the church’ through small group environments. If you haven’t already, I recommend you first read my ‘Getting Started Thoughts and Disclaimers’, written in three parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Key Sub-Systems of the Small Group System
Following are the key sub-systems related to small groups. These systems have been left somewhat vague to allow room for various small group strategies a church might adopt. That said, each system will be fairly complex and time consuming to maintain. A special thanks goes to Pastor Doug Cowburn at Elim Gospel Church for his help in refining these thoughts.
- Group Leader System
You can’t have good groups without leaders (facilitators) and hosts (hospitality). This system will oversee the recruitment, training, care and ongoing development of group leaders, hosts, and apprentices.
- Group Connection System
This system will provide opportunities for attendees to get connected into an appropriate small group (whether a new group or existing group) with ease. It will service both longstanding attendees as well as guests. The group connection system may include group campaigns, events, website sign-ups, and more.
- Group Content System
This system will ensure the approved group content is communicated, purchased (if applicable), created (if applicable), distributed, and implemented. This system will also include a feedback element to ensure the content is remaining relevant to group members.