Several of my close pastor friends have recently spoken out against the effectiveness of small groups. Although I have tremendous respect for these men and will always honor them, I disagree with their views of small groups.
I still love small groups because:
1. They follow the early church model of meeting in homes.
2. They are a tremendous tool for discipleship. I prefer small groups to Wednesday night large-group teaching because it gives people a chance to interact. I prefer small groups to Sunday school simply because you don’t have to build the expensive extra classroom space.
3. They get more people involved using their gifts of hospitality, teaching, exhortation, etc.
4. They engage the body of Christ in pastoral care. Instead of the pastors being the only ones who care for believers, small groups spread the load and utilize gifted lay people.
5. They build leaders.
6. Done well, they become a tremendous tool of retention. People want to be needed and known. Small groups make both possible.
7. They have unlimited meeting space. You can’t run out of homes, restaurants, apartments or coffee shops in which to meet.
8. They have unlimited meeting times. In today’s busy world, a once-a-week discipleship opportunity will not work for the majority of your church. Small groups offer unlimited times to meet.
9. They have changed my life. My family’s small group is like our extended family. God has used them to bless us in untold ways.
Does your church have small groups? If so, how are they working for you?