The Strategic Role of Small Groups

  • Small groups bridge the gap from truth to life. We grow not just by hearing sermons, but by discovering and sharing truth together. In small groups, people can learn and apply God’s word together.
  • Small groups are a logistical necessity. No one person can pastor everyone. Small groups allow everyone in a church to receive pastoral care from people who know them best.
  • Small groups are intentional about making disciples. Many groups share truth and build relationships well. But great groups also create disciples who make disciples.
  • Small groups are led by committed leaders. These leaders faithfully do their part, trusting God to do what only he can do.

Create a Healthy Small Group Environment

  • Create an invitational group. An effective group is outwardly focused. Help your members care about and include the people who aren’t there yet. Train them to think invitationally.
  • Create a group that discovers truth together. Your role is not to impart knowledge, but to facilitate discovery and application. The resources at will help you lead engaging conversations.
  • Create a trusting group. People need a healthy relational environment to grow in faith. Leaders create a trusting place where people can process God’s truth safely.
  • Create a group that reproduces itself. As a group matures, your ultimate goal is to launch new groups. Be intentional about this from the start. This will affect how you prepare, lead the discussion, and share weekly duties. Continually plan for this goal.

Developing People in Small Groups

  • Develop people who care. Make the group a caring place by coaching and encouraging the people in your group to care for each other.
  • Develop disciples who mentor others. Small group leaders don’t just help people pursue God. They help people learn how to help others pursue God themselves. We call this mentoring. As a leader, mentor others in the group – starting with your co-leaders. Then train group members to mentor others as well.
  • Develop team members who lead. Do this by sharing ministry with others. Your success as a leader is measured by how well you prepare others to lead. Meet regularly with your team to equip and organize them.

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. Why do you think small groups are so important to individual Christians and to churches?
  4. Think of a great small group you have been a part of. What made it so successful? What could it have done better?
  5. The video claims that a great small group makes disciples who actually make disciples. Do you agree or disagree, and why? What questions do you have about this concept?
  6. What are some reasons why small groups need to reproduce themselves? What are some reasons why groups don’t actually do it?
  7. Think of the three ways that small groups must develop people. Why is each one important?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Ministry Tools: