Church gatherings have taken many forms since Jesus walked around Jerusalem with the disciples. The church has gathered in homes, outside, in hidden locations and in cathedrals. Some believers are forced to meet in secret and others broadcast their meetings on television and the internet.
Around the world there are traditional churches, mega churches and small churches that go by a wide range of names. Some of these gatherings are casual and others are very formal. Each model has its strengths, purpose and ability to meet the needs in a culture.
However, the most fruitful format for true discipleship and long term expansion of Christianity comes from the small group format.
Small groups can take a wide range of forms, meet in any number of places and focus on a variety of topics. They may be an outreach of a traditional or mega church, but they can just as easily be the church.
Here are three reasons why you as a pastor or minister should lead a small group;
- 1.Small groups are far more intimate than larger church services. These allow for relationships to be built and discipleship to occur. It is very difficult to effectively disciple a new believer or train people in how to become a minister without a small group gathering. The model of discipleship that Jesus set as the standard was relational.
- 2.Small groups are very effective at meeting people’s needs. Consider that a small group can support an individual or a family through sickness, grief or through joyful occasions. There is more accountability, more opportunity to speak into a person’s life and more chances of long term relationships being developed.
- 3.No matter how you slice it small groups are Biblical and arguably the most Biblical format for church meetings and discipleship. Pastors and church leadership have recognized this for thousands of years. Almost all growing churches are looking for ways to create small groups. These may take the form of discipleship classes, Sunday school or fellowship groups.
The National Conservative Christian Church promotes and supports churches of all sizes, but we emphasize the importance of small groups. If you are considering becoming a minister or if you are already a pastor we would encourage you to use small groups as a way to reach people for Christ and make disciples.
This month’s minister’s candidate conference call will be on small groups. Watch your email for the details. Hope you can join.
Rev. David M. Smuin