Connect group, C group, D group, community group, cell group, satellite. These are all different phrases that I have heard people use to name a small group. I know them as life groups. As a college student, I was heavily involved in Chi Alpha. Chi Alpha is a ministry that is based on small groups. Small groups trump any other ministry vehicle we have. More important than a large group meeting, more important than an outreach event, more important than community service. We are into small groups. I have seen the transformative power or a group of people truly living life in community as they follow Jesus. It truly is a beautiful thing!
Why are we so crazy about small groups? Simply, because our Jesus was essentially a small group leader! Jesus gave us an amazing example of what it looks like to live in community. His leadership style gives us cues into how to have great small groups that build community among the church, win people to Jesus, and produce new leadership! So how did He do it?
Here are a few key principles to how to make your small group GREAT!
Pray Always - As you read the Bible, you see Jesus slipping away to have quiet times with the Father. I’m sure these times were great moments of rejuvenation and direction. Your small group will be stale and lifeless if you aren’t praying. Prayer brings life!
Invite - Whether you lead a small group or you are a part of a small group, you should always be quick to invite people to the group. In the Gospels, we see Jesus accumulating followers left and right. I am sure some people were drawn in by the miracles He performed or His ability to stump the religious leaders, but I also know that He boldly called people to come and see what God was doing. We have real life to give others, if your small group is giving people the opportunity to walk in real life in Jesus, be quick to give your friends, family, and coworkers the opportunity.
Live Life - Jesus spent extravagant time with his disciples doing all things life. Eating, sleeping, walking, and ministry. They had a front row seat to what it looked like to live a whole life. We definitely can’t live up to that standard, but if you have the Holy Spirit in you, and you are allowing Him to transform your life, then you have great things to share with others. Allow the people in your group to see your life. This gives both of you the opportunity to grow as iron sharpens iron.
Empower - Jesus empowered his followers towards ministry. A healthy small group produces more small group leaders. There should never be an issue of who is going to take over the group or start another group. Empowering others takes being intentional. Jesus sent the disciples out to do ministry on their own and then brought them back in for feedback. Have your small group members, who have leadership potential, lead a discussion or plan a study. This gives them confidence and puts them on mission!