A few weeks ago we celebrated our 2nd annual “Fall Small Group Launch,” marking one year of implementing strategic small groups into our NextGen ministry! From September to May we have “Small Group Night” twice per month during our midweek gathering. Each small group is led by 2 small group leaders, 2 assistant leaders in training & between 10-15 students! This got me thinking about the differences between ministry with small groups & ministry without them. Did implementing small groups actually help us in fulfilling our discipleship strategy? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Below are 4 rewards that our ministry has received for implementing small groups that were not nearly as present a year ago…
1 Empowered Leaders – Because we’ve taken the time to invest in & equip our leaders to disciple our students in small groups, not only have we duplicated ourselves, but we’ve empowered our leaders to take ownership of the ministry! High quality leaders don’t want to just sit around & watch! When leaders feel like they are making a tangible difference while getting to use their gifts, they will grab hold of the vision & lead with passion!
2 Deeper Relationships – Because our leaders & students have gathered together in small groups on a consistent basis where they have the opportunity to eat food, laugh & talk about life & God, not only have they began to trust each-other, but they’ve become families where the students begin to see their small group leaders as spiritual fathers & mothers! Just last week one of our student’s was in a car accident, & one of the first people to visit her & pray with her at the ER was her small group leader!
3 Stronger faith – Because our leaders are given a small group outline to study & pray over a couple of days in advance, they begin to grow stronger in their faith as they search through & study the scriptures! Students who rarely or never read the Bible, are now hearing God’s word & applying it to their lives in small groups! As leaders ask specific questions that lead to introspection, students begin to open up about life & their struggles. Because small groups always end with a time of prayer, everyone’s faith grows when they come back a couple of weeks later & hear how God answered many of their prayer requests!
4 Numerical Growth – Because our small group leaders are building deeper relationships with students & are trained to connect with them throughout the week & invite them back to small group nights, overall attendance has risen as our back door has closed tighter!
For more info on all things “Small Groups,” visit our partner site SmallGroupChurches.com