Small Group Models – Part Two

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This is a continuation of my overview of the most significant small group models and strategies.  You’ll find part one right here.  Remember as you look at models and strategies, there are no problem-free solutions.  Wise leaders simply choose the set of problems they’d rather have.

Here are the remaining four small group ministry models and strategies:

  • North Point and the Andy Stanley, Bill Willits book Creating Community has taken some of the learnings from the MetaChurch model and Saddleback’s Small Group Connection and shaken them together to create a model that accomplishes some good things. With high emphasis from the platform leading to seasonal GroupLink events, the importance of group life is highlighted continually. The challenge in this model (as with almost every model) is identifying and recruiting enough leaders to connect everyone who is looking for a group. In addition, North Point is very committed to “closed groups” that covenant to stay together for 12 to 18 months. This creates real value for the participants, but limits potential for the group to serve as a natural point of connection for the friends and neighbors of the group members. You’ll find a more detailed review right here.
  • Cell Church: the Cell Church model is primarily a system of cell groups connected through a celebration service.  Defined by Joel Comiskey a cell is a “group of three to fifteen people who meet weekly outside the church building for the purpose of evangelism, community, and spiritual growth with the goal of multiplication.”  Each of the components are important and must be present in an authentic cell group ministry.  You can read my more detailed comments right here.
  • G-12 is really a form of the Cell Church model.  The most important tweak to G-12 is the idea that every participant is actually in two groups (one as a participant and one as a leader of their own group).  You can read more right here.
  • Church-Wide Campaign-Driven The most explosive group launching strategy is the church-wide campaign.  Popularized by Saddleback’s 40 Days of Purpose, the church-wide campaign had been used for many years by capital campaign companies to align a weekend message with small group content.  Rick Warren has said many times that “the most significant growth toward maturity we’ve EVER seen at Saddleback was during 40 Days of Purpose.”  Why?  It exposed everyone to the growth principles many times (weekend message, small group, daily devotional, scripture memory, etc.).  The church-wide campaign-driven strategy can lead to a number of different models.  You can read more about it right here.
  • You’ll find part one of this overview right here.  If you’re new to my blog and don’t want to miss the latest content, you can subscribe free right here.

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    1. Sam O'Neal on December 8, 2009 at 6:49 am

      If anyone is interested, there is a “Small Groups Models” chart on that gives the strengths and weaknesses of different models, plus some practicing churches.

    2. Mark Howell on December 8, 2009 at 6:51 am

      Very nice! Thanks Sam!