4 Lessons Learned While Adding a New Type of Small Group

 

Over the past semester, some of our Small Group point people began a new small group type. After researching and landing on using the Freedom curriculum as a study our church could use, some of our SG point people attended the Freedom Conference at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama. Needless to say, this weekend was powerful for so many reasons for our group and we decided we’d put together a launch team of potential leaders to experience the study and coinciding weekend conference experience. We wrapped up our experience this last week and the semester was a huge success. During the last meeting our point people came up with four great lessons from our previous three months for our semesters that follow.

#1. SPIRITUAL DRIVERS ARE ESSENTIAL.
This Spiritual Driver (for lack of a better term) was greatly needed in our small groups. We use a Free Market system and most of our groups meet with a Bible study as the central purpose. Yet, the ability to offer a study with a greater commitment level, focus, and a spiritual weekend experience can offer so much more to people wanting or needing a great shift in their spiritual life.

Other similar studies are Purpose Driven Life (our church does this study churchwide every 3-4 years) and Rooted.

#2. LAUNCH TEAM SELECTIONS ARE HUGE
We took 2+ months to select and invite people that would be a part of this maiden voyage for our new groups. We looked for a diverse group of people, not only in life seasons and origins, but in spiritual levels too. The only constant was to be people that were serious and earnest in their walk with Christ. Not everyone who was a part of this group may lead, but seeing how the study worked with different personalities and backgrounds was important.

#3. A GROUP’S PERSONALITY IS PARAMOUNT
As a group leader or point person, forming your group personality and establishing complete transparency is essential for everyone to grow spiritually. The saying, “you get out what you put in” applies here. We formed a coed group of both single and married individuals and by the end we saw where this inhibited some conversation. While this was possibly unavoidable in our context this time, we agreed moving forward that groups should be designed around men, women and couples. Know what works best in your context.

#4. RETREATS ARE FOR ADULTS TOO
A weekend getaway or retreat for your Small Group, and the individuals that make it up, can really elevate the level of growth experienced and firmly establish the lessons learned as new realities. We can obviously take a lesson from Christ and how he would get away in seasons of intense spiritual awakening.

I was so pleased with their list. This will be helpful as we move forward. One lesson I would add is that it is so important as a Small Group Point Person to always be looking for new spiritual tools to equip your congregation with. I hope this list was helpful and I encourage you to constantly look for new groups and/ or group types to bring to your church. 

 

Published by

John Tyler Black

JT is the Small Groups Pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, GA. He enjoys connecting families with others and the local church. When he is away from the desk, he enjoys being with his family and all things basketball.