A trend of the late 90’s and early 2000’s was the small group movement. This is one trend I do not believe is going any where. Many churches have tried them, some have done amazingly well, some have just kind of happened, and some have failed miserably. At West Side one of my jobs is to over see our small group ministry. Currently we have two groups meeting. However, these two groups do not appear to be organic and seem to have no purpose outside of Bible study and fellowship.
One of the blogs I read daily is by Vince Antonucci, who is planting a Church on the Strip in Las Vegas. He posted from a friends blog that really got me thinking about the purpose of our small groups. Follow this link and read his post.
Does your church do small groups? Do your small groups have a purpose? Are your small groups organic? After reading Vince’s post several months ago, pondering over the question myself, I have come to the conclusion that the original poster is right. That’s why at West Side as we revamp our small group structure and begin to launch new groups one key aspect will be community service. Not only will this aid us in forming community within our congregation, but this will be one more avenue into reaching our community. I think we can bring the message of the cross to our families and our communities, and bring each other closer together through common purposes.
Below is a video from the Matt Carter, Pastor of The Austin Stone Community Church. The Austin Stone Community Church is one of the fastest growing Churches in America. Started in 2002 they are now averaging over 5,000 for weekend worship. They too addressed the problem they had with small groups. I also borrowed this video from Vince’s blog.
Matt Carter // Missional Small Groups from Todd Rhoades on Vimeo.
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