In the western hemisphere, the leaves are beginning to turn red and gold as the fall season quickly arrives. Simultaneously, many churches across the globe are finalizing their preparations to launch a dynamic small group ministry this month that will, in turn, mobilize their local congregations to enjoy biblical community! So to all of you small group point people I ask … Are Your Small Groups F.A.L.L. Ready?
F – food
“They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.” Acts 2:46
Being that food is a staple of successful small groups going all the way back to the early church in Acts, as well as the Gospels where Jesus was breaking bread with his small group of 12 disciples, make sure that food is a centerpiece of your small groups!
“Give your fellow small group family refrigerator rights!” – Andrew Mason
A – atmosphere
Small groups should be joy-filled settings where people can laugh during an ice breaker, eat good food and enjoy fellowship with the family of God! After all, we have the greatest treasure to celebrate and share – Jesus! Because vibrant small groups grow in clean, warm and inviting atmospheres, make sure to vacuum, clean and de-clutter your house! Dim the lights and have some worship music playing in the background to set the mood! Make sure not to allow for distractions like the TV blaring, phones ringing or animals running!
L – love
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35
Our small groups should be the friendliest places in town where everyone can belong, where faces in the crowd become friends in community! Healthy small groups should roll out the red carpet and value people well by going above and beyond to serve them. Needs met by caring friends should be a natural outflow of community in small groups.
“When group members experience genuine community and unconditional love, they become more willing to be honest and vulnerable with one another.” – Steve Gladen
L – leaders
Healthy small groups identify leadership potential and empower leaders to use their gifts and serve in ministry! When we take the time to invest in and equip our leaders, not only have we duplicated ourselves, but we’ve empowered our leaders to take ownership of the ministry. When leaders feel like they are making a tangible difference in the lives of students, they will grab hold of the vision and lead with passion!
“Your role as a small group leader is not to lead the entire small group of eight or ten or twelve. Your role is primarily to shepherd and disciple two or three people in your inner circle – and then to share ownership and leadership with them.” – Michael C. Mack