Small Groups consist of up to 12 people who meet regularly for a defined period of time with the overall spiritual purpose of developing the deep love and trust that allows for loving accountability leading to Christlikeness. An important element in the group is the freedom for everyone to share their personal journey with the whole group.
Timeliness – within a culturally appropriate length of time (normally 1 hour) and how long the group will meet before changing. (1 month, 1 year, 3 months). Meets frequently and regularly enough to accomplish the group purpose.
Defining clearly the group’s reason for existing.
- church planting,
- initial discipleship,
- growth of mature Christians,
- leadership development.
Balance of activities during the group meeting (depending on the purpose).
For example, studying the Bible could be done as shown below.
W – Welcome (ice breaker activities)
W – Worship (testimony, scripture reading, singing, giving)
W- Word (Bible)
W – Warfare (prayer)
The group should be able to demonstrate progress in observational and analytical skills.
- How to carefully read a passage
- How to understand what the writer intends
- How to answer in a group in a respectful way
- How to compare the ideas from one author with another author.
A student is able to demonstrate at least 7 different styles of small groups so that the student can use and teach others how to use.
Here are some possible examples
- SPECS – Inductive bible study. Sins to avoid, Promises to keep, Examples to follow, Commands to obey, Stumbling blocks to avoid.
- Outreach Bible Studies (David White’s style)
- T4T – discipleship method
- Prayer Cells (Louis Bustle) – church planting method
- Leadership Institute (John Moore’s) – character development for leaders
- Bible League – Church Planting method / discipleship method
- Chick Shaver’s basic Bible Studies – initial discipleship and growing believers.
Demonstrate how to develop leaders from group participants.
- List the steps involved in the group clearly
- Have several members of the group involved in at least portions of each step.
- Increase their involvement in each step until they can handle that step without assistance
- Rotate responsibilities of the people within the group – even if they are not very skilled at that step.
- Begin to combine steps so that a single person is leading several of the steps. Continue to rotate these responsibilities within the participants each session.
- Turn over the whole responsibility of the group to each of the prepared leaders on a rotating basis.
- Start new groups.