4 Important Innovations in Small Group Ministry

I’ve been a student of small group ministry and ministries for almost 25 years.  I’ve read everything I could find.  Found ways to ask a lot of questions.  Even cultivated my own set of confidential informants (okay, that’s not really what they were, but you get the idea).

Let’s just say I have been a student and I’m still learning.

Here are what I think are 4 of the most important innovations in small group ministry:

  1. Events that form and launch new groups.  The Small Group Connection, designed to sort out people by affinity and help them choose a leader from amongst themselves, and Group Link, designed to help unconnected people form a group around a pre-qualified leader are both examples events that form and launch new groups.  North Point’s Access Group strategy is a variation of this innovation.  6 to 8 weeks instead of a one time event, it is a step that leads toward grouplife.  See also Distinctives of the Three Types of Small Group Connecting Events and Three Important Distinctives of North Point’s Access Group Strategy.
  2. Church-wide campaigns like 40 Days of Purpose allow churches to set in motion an alignment between the weekend message and a small group curriculum and encourage everyone to join in.  See also The Exponential Power of a Church-Wide Campaign and Church-Wide Campaigns.
  3. The HOST strategy allows senior pastors to recruit people who have a HEART for unconnected people to OPEN their homes for six weeks, SERVE some simple refreshments, and TELL a few of their friends.  The grab-and-go strategy is a version of HOST that takes the concept even further, often enlisting another 5 to 10% more hosts.  See also HOST: What Does It Mean? and Add 5 to 10% More Hosts with this Jedi Move.
  4. Video based curriculum.  First developed as VHS and later DVD, video based curriculum allows ordinary people to say “yes” to hosting or leading a group.  It doesn’t require a teacher.  While new groups won’t always need video based curriculum (they’ll develop the confidence to meet without it), it is a great advantage in starting new groups.  An important wrinkle in video based curriculum is the ability to stream video to a computer or other device.  This will allow an even larger number of groups to access video based content.  See also Update: Now Even More to Choose from at RightNow Media.

What do you think?  Have a question? Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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