by Dan Russell
SOUTHGATE, MI – A good question for pastors to ask is, “How can small groups help our churches?” Whether your church’s small group model is Sunday School, small groups in homes, or a combination of the two, these gatherings can make an awesome impact on the ministry of our churches!
Here are some ways that small groups can help our churches …..
Discipleship – Small groups provide opportunities for new believers, as well as seasoned believers, to learn about the Christian life and how to be dedicated followers of Christ. (Colossians 2:6-7)
Assimilation – Small groups give new members and regular attenders a way to get better acquainted with the church’s teachings and build relationships with others in the church, therefore increasing their long-term status in the church. (Acts 2:41-42)
Evangelism – Small groups are safe and comfortable settings for believers to share their faith with unbelievers, thus being a place for friendship evangelism. (2 Timothy 2:24-25)
Bible Study – Small groups are excellent places for in-depth study of the Scriptures and can be enhanced with a vast selection of study guides and video-driven series material. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Accountability – Small groups can be close and confidential to the point of giving group members the option of being accountable to one another, which makes for more transparent relationships and personal ministry. (James 5:16)
Hospitality – Small groups provide an atmosphere of close fellowship that opens the door to the “giving” and “receiving” of Biblical hospitality, whether the groups are happening in the church building or in homes. (1 Peter 4:9)
Prayer – Small groups promote the opportunity to share prayer requests, praise reports, and to have conversational prayers that encourage everyone to pray. This can also include seeing answers to prayer as a group, which is a tremendous bonding experience. (Acts 12:12)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Dan Russell is the Executive Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Southgate, Michigan, a Church Strengthener for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan, and an adjunct professor in the Christian Ministry Department of Spring Arbor University at two campuses in southeastern Michigan. He has 36 years of pastoral experience, including lead pastorates in Missouri, Kansas, and Michigan. He and his wife, JoLinda, live in Brownstown, Michigan, and have three adult children, along with seven grandchildren.