How Are Small Groups Made?

I read the most interesting article today about Small Groups. It was entitled “Why Churches Should Euthanize Small Groups“. It really gave me some things to think about. Take a moment and go read the article for yourself (the link above will open a new window), the blog will be here when you get back…

Interesting isn’t it? Some very strong language and concepts with regard to Small Groups. I have to be really honest and admit that I agreed with a great majority of that article. Especially when I think back of all of the Small Groups that I have been a part of (either leading or attending). There is an element or two of his suggestion that is very, very true. I mean no disrespect to any of the groups I’ve been in. We have shared, prayed and cared for one another. But there is something he mentioned that jumped out at me.

It just happened, naturally and spontaneously.

As I thought back over the groups I have been a part of, the one that stood out to me the most was the one that happened…naturally. We were all young members of a brand new church plant. We were all newly married and most expecting our first child. I remember praying together as each one was nearing their due date. I remember sitting in a hospital together as one of the pregnancies went through some dark waters (and eventually delivered a healthy baby). It all happened and it happened naturally and spontaneously. That group was amazing.

I’ve been in other groups that were put together by geography or other reasons and while they were good, they didn’t match that one several years ago. I’m not ranking them, but my greater point here is that I too believe that Small Groups are formed by a group of people sharing a commonality. It grows into real relationships which then produce real discipleship. It might just be how Small Groups are made…

How was the best group you’ve ever been a part of formed?

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4 thoughts on “How Are Small Groups Made?

  1. Interesting article…does make you think. I think the quandary for the church has been how do you get “new people” connected who aren’t necessarily interested in discipleship (one person imparting wisdom from behind the lectern), what used to be called “Sunday School”. For that matter, how do we get “old church people”, people who have been around for years, to actually practice the art of confessing sins, praying, and other practices that are part of the idea of organized church “stuff?” Just an opinion, but the typical church has become stagnant. What if God really showed up? What if we went each week expecting him to show up? But we don’t….so he doesn’t…and in Max Lucado’s book Just Like Jesus, he talks about the idea that “…people on a plane and people in the pew have a lot in common. They both are looking for a nice predictable experience…a nice flight…a nice service…with nothing out of the ordinary, or supernatural for that matter, happening. Small groups is a small part of what the ills are in the modern church….I do agree that we try to hard to BE the Holy Spirit instead of inviting Him and then waiting and responding. Most people don’t fit that time frame, though. They need to be out so the roast doesn’t burn, or so they can be the first the the Golden Corral….probably why I am not a pastor….

    • Great points Ern. It is a challenge to plug new people or those that have yet to join a small group into one if they don’t desire to do so. Many might feel like that kid that transfers into a new school halfway through the year in that the group is already established and they feel like they are late to the party. I don’t suggest that all groups be “killed” as I know of very healthy, growing, important groups. But there are others that are pretty much in name only as he suggested. Large mega churches need small groups to be the “mini-church” and connect people or they will get lost in the mass of people attending. They can come and go and no one would even know. Some might like that idea, but many long to plug in somewhere and know that someone cares about those prayer requests and burdens. The best way for that to happen is to find something that joins them and not just a time slot that is convenient or a house that is close. They need real relationships. Great insight and thoughts my friend.

  2. wow where do i start? can one of my many theory be right? “The problem is 90 percent of small groups never produce one single disciple.” Why Churches Should Euthanize Small Groups (Brian Jones). “90% of Christians Suck!” (Vic Fisher). i walk the walk, talk the talk, where the clothes, carry the Bible, go do church, go do group, pray for my friends and give my 10, but i don’t want to get my hands dirty more than once a year. why do i worry so for the people setting in the chairs when we have empty chairs that need filled with His people? God has be very plain to me recently through his Word, Romans 12:1-21. Don’t think i have arrived or am piloting this ship, but i think that we are being called to do more than small groups. i read more about us going and doing and a little about us sitting and eating. maybe we should be using our time in small groups planning our time to be spent loving in the world. did this upset you?, hit a chord in you?, convict you? or bored you …please take time to pray and look deep inside yourself, for this could change your life. i would love to hear your comments!
    In Christ, vic

  3. BOOM! Vic coming in with his first comment and coming in STRONG. I’m with you brother. Completely agree. We’ve become so comfortable. I really believe in “doing life together” and as a reader of the blog you know that. I talk about it often. But I also believe that we can get some caught up doing life together that we forget that there are so many people that are doing life alone. I blame us. I blame “the church” (not one in particular) for not remembering that. We talk of saving the world but wont even help the guy or gal next to us at work. It’s not complicated. Look at The Manger. The path to discipleship can begin by extending a hand to help, an ear to hear and a shoulder to lean on. I don’t have it right either. More often then not, I talk the talk and fall WAY short of the goal. It’s good to have people and things in our lives that remind us of that fact.

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