Several years ago Rose and I started a small group meeting in our home. We specifically wanted people new to our church and not yet followers of Jesus. The response to our personal invitation was quite good. Five couples came to our first gathering. One couple was a young woman who had been in the church for some time and a young man who she was dating. He was not a Christian and had never been to church. Another couple, were old friends of ours. The woman had had a cancerous tumor removed from her brain. We were so thankful for her survival and being able to attend. The only issue? Her condition caused her to have no filters to what she might say and when she might say it.
During the meeting she began to talk in detail about animal sacrifice and the graphic aspect of the killing of animals and describing the blood. The young man got out of the house as fast as he could. He told his new girlfriend she was a part of some crazy cult. Fortunately, I met with him a few days later. He eventually became a follower of Jesus. The lesson, be prepared for anything when you start a small group.
Why Small Groups?
Small groups were at the heart of the Vineyard from its conception. It is said, “we are a church of small groups not ‘with’ small groups.” Small Groups should be a part of our local church DNA. The longer you go without making small groups a priority of who you are as a community the more difficult it is to establish them as a priority.
Some important reasons to make small groups a priority:
Remember be a church “of” small groups not “with” small groups. If your church has not made small groups a high priority, consider prioritizing it soon. Give envisioning talks on the importance of small groups. Plan for training sessions. This is a great time to plan for a small group launch in the fall.
Have fun imagining and creating small groups that bring good news to your church, friends and neighborhoods.