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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.