Are you struggling with how to handle big groups in this ongoing season of COVID-19? Or, maybe big groups have always been an issue for your small group ministry? We all know bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to small groups! The challenge remains: how can we make our big-sized groups smaller? Why not encourage your small groups to give subgrouping a try? Subgrouping is defined as a distinct group within a group; a group that has been divided into smaller groups. Subgrouping offers many benefits to small groups:
- More participation: Subgrouping allows more people to be able to share during discussion, without taking a longer time.
- Less intimidating: People feel more comfortable opening up in smaller groups, as well as in men/women group dynamics.
- Deeper bonds: People connect more easily, form deeper bonds compared to larger groups.
- Increased & consistent prayer: The group’s prayer list isn’t super long, because the group size is smaller. Group members aren’t overwhelmed with a long prayer list each week.
- Room for new members: Groups are able to invite others to visit, and give small group a try!
- More leadership opportunities: Subgrouping also helps to identify additional leaders within the current group.
4 Ideas for Subgrouping Your Small Group
Below are four practical ways that you can encourage groups to try subgrouping. Each of these involve different methods and require different things, such as additional meeting spaces and leadership, but each will benefit the group dynamics greatly. Be sure to have a plan in place ahead of time, and collect feedback from group members at the end of your “trial” period.
A simple way to give subgrouping a try is to incorporate this into your group’s prayer time. Determine in advance how you will subgroup for prayer. This will depend on your group size. Suggestions include splitting into men/women groups; or having members pair up with another person or couple. You can also simply split the group into half. It is helpful if you have different rooms to use and/or enough space to spread out. Encourage each subgroup to commit to praying for those specific prayer requests, checking-in and following up with them throughout the week Encourage use of email, text chain, and/or any other prayer app/resource they can use. This will serve to deepen relationships among the smaller groups.