Small groups are not a “clean” or simple organism, but there are two “ingredients” that are critical for small group success and life change among the members. Purpose and Connection.
PURPOSE— clear expectations of what it means to be a member of a small group. It’s important that group members know why the group exists and why they are a committed part of it.
CONNECTION— group members show a strong perceived need for the group. Group members would feel like they were missing something critical if they missed a group meeting and small group relationships are viewed as high priority.
The definition of success for a group is “Have we made the transition beyond just meeting…to engaging in the lostness of our city for the gospel.”
Having a clear vision for success is one of the keys to keeping small group leaders focused on making disciples. The vision for success is wrapped up into our 4g’s…Gospel, Grace, Growth, and Generosity. To help small groups grow in these, we continually focus specifically on growing in each of these areas. None of us have “mastered” any of them.
Small groups have three objectives which they are to continually live out: Growth, Outward Focus, and Service. We repeatedly celebrate groups who are practicing these objectives. As small group leaders affirm, love and care for the people in their small group, evidence of Growth, Outward Focus and Service become natural outcomes. But more than that, individuals, as well as groups, begin to see a path for life that will help them be more like Christ every day of their lives.
I like the concept of moving beyond just meeting and feeling something very important was missed if a meeting was missed. I find this is the key for our group. We have struggled to find a time to meet that the majority of our group could agree on and finally decided to just set a time and encourage people to make it a priority. We have a small core group that has really developed that desire to meet and engage in relationship with each other and dig into the Word.