A final note on the Small Group topic we venture into the “How” to do small groups. The first post in this series spoke to the “Why” portion of small groups. “Why” is because God is a community, Jesus’ ministry was small group oriented, and the first church was small group driven. The second post addressed “What” is involved in a healthy small group. Healthy small groups build friendships that enable people to be honest and authentic with one another in a secure environment where life’s intimate details can be shared.
This post will speak on the “How” of small groups. While small groups are essentially a little church, it is very easy to get started. “How” is not a “this is wrong, that is right” formula, but more of a recipe of necessary components to pull together a successful small group. As every good cook knows (don’t look at me, I’ll mess up Mac&Cheese), sometimes you have to tinker with a recipe to make it seasoned correctly. Take these ingredients and season to your taste. Bon appetit!
Ingredient #1: Location, location, location.
We all have heard of the importance of real estate location. For small group the same applies. Having a hospitable, comfortable location is important for your small group. For my small group it has almost always been a living room. For you it might be a coffee shop, park, library, or conference room. Whatever the place may be, it is vital that the location is conducive to discussion and group participation. Note: The locale’s ability to foster the “What” (Does it allow for friendships to be honest and authentic in a secure environment where intimate relationships can grow?) of small groups should be a driving force for the location you meet at. Where you meet matters.
Ingredient #2: Study
Small groups need to be more than hang out clubs. A healthy group will lean primarily toward a discipleship focus. This means that whatever topic is being discussed also has a spiritual element. If you choose finance, marriage, time management be sure to return to scripture. The Bible is our source of truth and life as believers. No matter what book or study you choose take time to open God’s word to see what He has for us to learn as well.
Ingredient #3: Prayer
One of the most intimate times you can have during small group is prayer. To be able to seek God with one another over the hopes, hurts, and happenings from the past week is incredibly encouraging. My small group takes the first five to ten minutes after greeting one another to pray. I’ve heard it said “Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.” Whether or not this is theologically true at the very least it helps us care for one another more, and at the very most God is preparing a miracle on our behalf.
Add, Mix, Bake…Enjoy!
Being in a small group has been the single greatest contributor to my growth as a follower of Jesus. Sermons are forgotten, worship experiences fade, but relationships built upon common love for one another and Jesus are remembered forever. So take these three ingredients; location, study, and prayer, and cook up a great small group experience!This blog is part 3 of 3 in a series of small group posts on the “Why,” “What,” and “How” of healthy small groups.