Monday, August 27, 2007

Small Church Corner: give me your thoughts and experiences

I am toying with the idea of a weekly post related to the topic of small church – more commonly referred to as small groups. I am a huge proponent of small church as illustrated in the historical New Testament experience. Let me know if this topic is of interest to you by providing me with a comment.

Here are some questions I have for you:
  1. Are you, or have you been, a small group leader?
  2. How has God used you?
  3. What challenges have you encountered?
  4. Tell me stories of changed lives as a result of the small group / small church experience.
  5. How has your life been impacted?

I want to hear your story.


Teri said...

Nice Blog :)

Anonymous said...

Shortly before I moved it was decided in the church I was attending to form small groups. Group leaders were chosen and clipboards with sign up sheets were put out on a table. Before I left I looked over the sheets. Some were overflowing with names while others barely had any sign up. Somehow that rubbed me the wrong way, but I don't know exactly why. And I don't know how things turned out. Maybe it worked out well?

In my new congregation we don't have many instances where small groups are actually called "small groups". People get together to work in certain ministries. It is a good way to get to know people whom you might not become acquainted with otherwise. The purpose of the group is the defining characteristic rather than the specific people who are in the group. Over time some of the people may change, but the reason for the group remains the same. People are drawn in according to their interest in the work involved. I've had a positive experience with this type of small group. I haven't been in any other kind, though.

Brian said...

I've been a small group leader/co-leader several times in the past.
- God has used me in helping to encourage others to see things from different angles in our discussion, in praying for others' needs, in providing counsel, and in helping develop/foster relationships with others in the group.
- Some challenges have been the commitment levels of participants in the group. Some want to be a part of a group, but it is not as high of a priority as it should be to them. Some don't ever follow through and others "flake" on coming alot of the time. Which makes it easy to question how serious they take fellowship and growing in their walks with God. Having young kids has also made it hard for some b/c it is important to have your kids on an evening eating and bedtime routine. A group can cut into that.
- One story that I can think of occurred several years ago in a group I co-lead. There was a couple that was very young in their faith who started coming to our group. They just started getting involved in church and over a couple years time, they grew to where they were used by God to help plant a church and actually headed up ministries at that church for a time.
- Whenever I have been a part of a group it has been a time that I have grown in my walk with God. It has helped me to stay disciplined and I have made some great relationships through the experience.

David Ormand said...

I'm the leader of two small groups right now.

One is really small - me, my wife, and an older lady in our church. This is a small-group of the larger church (which is kinda small itself). We've tried small groups before, but this church is too lazy to really get into anything beyond Sunday morning.

I'm also the youth leader, and we have small-group on Thursdays. We hold each other accountable for our daily quiet times, share interesting things we've read in the past week, our concerns (school, friends, parents), and spend a good bit of time praying. I've really seen some spiritual growth in the lives especially of our older boys (19-22).

The big problem I've faced is that (a) the young people get kinda inward-focused, and aren't real inclined to invite others, and (b) it's hard for the few unbelievers who have been invited to get into the heavy Jesus bit. They are teenagers...