I think small groups are a vital key to any healthy ministry, especially those who have more than 30 folks attending. It’s possible to know 15 or 20 people fairly well, but once your group grows beyond 30 people, small groups need to be in place.
There are lots of ways to do small groups and each has its benefits and drawbacks. For today’s installment of Ministry Playbook, I thought I might share how we do the majority of our small groups at the Christian Campus House (CCH).
We have a total of 5 small groups. 3 of them meet at the same time on the same night at the same place. We call them Family Groups and they take place after TNT (Tuesday Nite Thing), which is our weekly large group gathering. At the end of TNT we open our “cookie table” up for business and allow folks the chance to mingle. Then, after about 15 minutes, the students will either head home or head to their Family Group.
These have been one of the most successful facets of our ministry here. We have right around 60% of our students involved at CCH connected to a Family Group. This is, I feel, a high percentage and we are excited about that.
Here are a few reasons why I think this approach to Family Groups works:
- Students know that one night a week (in our case, Tuesdays) is going to be completely dedicated to God and CCH. Instead of having to make time on two (or three) different nights for large group meetings and then small group meetings, they reserve one night per week.
- Family Groups right after TNT help us to compliment the main teaching for the night. For example, this semester we are studying through the book of Nehemiah. After I teach on a passage in Nehemiah at TNT, our Family Groups split up and talk about that passage, the ideas conveyed, the relevance to their lives, and so forth. This provides for continuity, uniformity, and deeper study. This would be, I think, more difficult if all of our small groups met on different nights. The passage and teaching would not be as fresh.
- It’s easier to get students plugged into a Family Group if it meets right after TNT. After all, they are there already. It’s easier to stay then to come back.