This content is adapted from the PursueGOD Network YouTube channel.

Many Christians participate in small groups in some form or another. Contrary to common expectations in many churches, an effective small group is one that multiplies by making disciples who reproduce themselves in others.

A Great Small Group Is a Caring Place to Share the Right Truth at the Right Time

Some groups do Bible study well. Others do fellowship well. But both truth and relationships are vital (Eph 4:15). Great groups don’t just share truth broadly, but apply truth directly and skillfully to people’s individual lives. Leaders of great groups learn how to assess the condition and progress of group members in order to personalize truth for people, sharing truth when it is needed, as the apostle Paul did in 1 Cor 3:1-3.

A Great Small Group Is a Vehicle to Train Disciples to Make Other Disciples

Many groups enjoy good fellowship and study, but don’t have any real direction or purpose. In a great group, people are prepared and released to make disciples, as Paul taught Timothy to do in 2 Tim 2:2. Maturing Christians will multiply themselves by making other disciples. A great group models how with simple tools and methods that anyone can use. Maturing groups will also multiply themselves by creating new groups. Their leaders are not just teachers, but they intentionally give ministry away by training new leaders to do whatever they can do. If a group doesn’t raise up new leaders or reproduce new groups, it’s simply not a group worth attending.

A Great Small Group Is Part of an Integrated Discipleship System

The best groups are connected with the overall ministry of their church so that everyone is working together to make disciples. Great groups bridge the gap between Sunday sermons and everyday life, to help their members put sermons into practice. Great groups have leaders who operate as part of a larger team, so they are guided, coached, and encouraged to help them succeed.

[Related: The Greatest Thing a Small Group Leader Can Do]

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. How have you experienced care from others in a small group?
  4. What should a good group be accomplishing beyond caring for its members, and why?
  5. Do you agree that maturing groups will reproduce new groups, and why?
  6. What positive things happen in a group and in its members as the group reproduces itself?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Ministry Tools: