My hope is that this post will be read by folks who have experience with how other churches do small groups. I’ve got a few questions on my mind, this morning. These are some of our greatest challenges in the small group ministry at Fellowship Church in Holden, Massachusetts. It occurs to me that it might be wise to piggy back on what others are doing rather than re-invent the wheel.
#1) How do you move people into small groups? This question really has 2 sub questions:
A) Any suggestions on how to spur folks who casually or consistently attend services into small groups? The senior pastor does an incredible job of mentioning, almost every week, how important small groups are to what our church is about, but it seems like we might be doing more to make it easier for folks to get connected.
B) How can we help group members (and group leaders) to feel comfortable inviting unchurched friends to small groups; how can we use small groups as an entry point into the life of the church?
2) Are there any guiding (perhaps biblical) principles that help balance small group autonomy/confidentiality with small group accountabality and expectations?
3) As a married man, how can I best support the female leaders of the small groups? We view most of our groups as being lead by couples, on the assumption that there are certain issues that might be awkward or uncomfortable for people to go to a leader of the opposite sex about. An unintended consequence of this is that the male leaders get more attention and support than the women.
4) How do we measure spiritual growth? Is there any way to ensure that lives are being changed within the groups?
Thanks for your insight,