A Simple Tip for Expanding Your Small Group Ministry

small group2by Phil Sommerville

I’ve learned from personal experience that a thriving small group ministry is possible in any size church.  Before launching Faith Alive 365, I was the Small Groups Pastor at Bayside Church of Granite Bay, CA.  We ran hundreds of groups with thousands of participants.  I’ve also worked with churches with attendance in the low hundreds and even under 100 to develop thriving small group ministries.  Now, I’m eager to share with you the lessons I’ve learned.  In this article and ones to come, you’ll find all kinds of tips for building a great small group ministry at your church.

Tip One:  If you want a great ministry, provide great resources

In my experience, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to expanding your small group ministry and keeping your small groups from failing is to equip them with good curriculum and good training.  Some people have the ability, time and desire to research small group curriculum and choose one for their group.  These leaders are great to have but they are also rare.  If this is what you require of a leader, you’ve greatly narrowed your available pool of leaders and constricted your ability to expand your small group ministry.  Most people don’t have the skills, time or interest to research and select small group study material, so they won’t even consider leading a group.  But they would be effective and willing leaders, if the church could offer great studies to those who wanted them.   It’s a simple step, but it can make a HUGE difference in your ability to recruit new leaders and support your existing leaders.  By providing study resources, you make life easier for your leaders and you send a powerful message that you value them enough to invest in them.  People are more apt to volunteer when they know they’re valued. 

There are a lot of great small group studies on the market including the studies you’ll find here at faithalive365.com.  Whether you use our studies or others, you’ll want to pick studies that ask good questions – questions that challenge people to think about the meaning of the Bible passage while sharing about their lives.  Some studies do a good job of getting people to understand a Bible passage, others do a good job of getting people to open up and share about themselves.  A good study will do both so that people will open the Bible at the same time as they open up their lives.  When that happens, God’s “living and active” word can enter their lives and become a transforming power.  That’s when small groups hit their “sweet spot.”

So, if you want to increase your pool of available leaders, expand your small groups ministry and equip your leaders for success, one of the best things you can do is provide great resources.

Faith Alive 365 can help. 

Not every church can afford to buy studies for all their small groups.  We help solve that problem by providing downloadable, reproducible studies at a low cost.  Better yet, we offer a church-wide subscription service that will allow you to equip all of your small groups with access to our growing library of studies.  We want to help you equip your leaders to succeed.  And we want to help your church afford it.  We hope you’ll consider making us your partner in building a thriving small group ministry as well as a thriving congregation who are experiencing God’s best every day.

Phil Sommerville is co-founder of Faith Alive 365 and a former Small Groups Pastor who has trained hundreds of small group leaders from churches of all sizes.

Read more articles in Small Group Leadership Tips |

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