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Small Groups Make A Big Difference Bill Alphin The Virginia Baptist Mission Board 800.ALL.BGAV 4/20/06.

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Presentation on theme: "Small Groups Make A Big Difference Bill Alphin The Virginia Baptist Mission Board 800.ALL.BGAV 4/20/06."— Presentation transcript:

1 Small Groups Make A Big Difference Bill Alphin The Virginia Baptist Mission Board 800.ALL.BGAV 4/20/06

2 What is your definition of a small group ministry? Why have a small group ministry?

3 Disciple making happens best... Where there is intimacy. Where there is purposeful and sequential small groups. Where there is mentoring. Where there is modeling. Where there is discipline. Where there is accountability. The KEY: Trusting relationships!

4 Disciple making requires a system of groups that provides three levels of relationships... Celebration/Worship group: (Unity) Congregation (ABF): (Fellowship) Cell or small group: <12 (Intimacy and accountability)

5 About Smaller Congregations… Yes, smaller congregations can be an effective disciple making church. Smaller churches can be intentional. Rely on the one-on-one mentoring and networking opportunities. Mentor one leader who mentors one leader… You only need one small group to get started.

6 Small groups and intimacy: Intimacy requires groups to be closed. Intimacy requires continuation: Groups must be ongoing (Meeting for more than a year).

7 About the Adult Sunday School: Sunday School groups must be open. Sunday School groups do not have the allotted time needed to develop intimacy in relationships. “Neighborly ”commitments Vs. “family” commitments. (SS is Phase One level) Sunday School provides for networking and caring.

8 Small groups should be sequential... This means people are grouped together according to where they are in their faith journey... Each phase of discipleship moves the disciple to a higher level of commitment.

9 Groups As Disciple Making Tools: Covenant Group. Basic Accountability Group. Ongoing Accountability Group. Ministry Community. Support Group. Fishing Pools. Task Groups and Committees.

10 Covenant Groups Small groups of 7-17 persons. Focusing on the lowest level of disciple making (come and see). Serves as an introduction to small groups. Open but become closed. Meet for weeks.

11 Basic Accountability Group Group of Meets for 6-24 months. Focuses on the “Come and follow me” stage. The group is closed. Establishes the basic habits (prayer, Bible study, quiet time, witnessing, fellowship, obedience, growth.

12 Ongoing Accountability Group Group of Focuses on the “Be with me” stage and “Remain in Me” stage. The group is closed and long-term in nature. Helps maintain basic habits and add new ones. It may occasionally re-open.

13 Ministry Community Meeting of all small group leaders. Meets once or twice a month. Vision-casting. Huddle (Communication) Skill development. Mutual encouragement. Ministry planning.

14 Support Group A small group (7-17) Focused on “Come and See”. Specializes in addressing a specific need. Group is closed and confidential.

15 Fishing Pools This is an open group. Last long enough to build relationship. Bridges between an outsider and people and church programs.

16 A small group leader should be... (In part, from Bob Gilliam, T-Net International) Beyond the “Follow Me” phase. The kind of person you could “catch” Christianity from if you weren’t careful. Specifically trained to lead a small group. Observed as gifted and able. Support of the mission of the church.

17 Three methods used to deploy qualified disciple makers… (Bob Gilliam, T-Net) Involvement in a model group. (Takes about 9-12 months.) Fast-tracking leaders through an abbreviated model group. (Takes 2-3 months.) Advanced placement. (50% will fail!)

18 An effective disciple making church must have leaders. Develop disciple making leaders by... Affirm those who are effective Christian disciples and leaders. Provide vision and encouragement. Discover and utilize spiritual gifts. Create accountability relationships for leaders through a leadership community. Free leaders of institutional Maintenance. Edward H. Hammett Making the Church Work.

19 An effective disciple making church must have leaders. Develop disciple making leaders by... Affirm those who are effective Christian disciples and leaders. Provide vision and encouragement. Discover and utilize spiritual gifts. Create accountability relationships for leaders through a leadership community. Free leaders of institutional Maintenance. Edward H. Hammett Making the Church Work.

20 Training for Small Group Leaders Understand group dynamics. Life cycle of small groups. Expectations of participants. Practice conflict utilization skills. Develop/practice facilitator skills. Understand role of small group.

21 The Leadership Community (The T-Net Model) Nurture (Plenary Session) Vision Casting-Large Picture (Plenary Session) Cross-pollination of ideas and activities. (Plenary) Skill Development (Sub-groups by type) Huddle/Planning (Sub-groups by type) Meets at least monthly.

22 More about vision casting. Reminding leaders of purpose. Brainstorming new ministries and directions. Sharing needs and ministry opportunities. Planning for growth and expansion. Success stories told. Celebration of accomplishments.

23 Getting Started… What do you want to accomplish? Develop a plan. Inventory existing small groups. What small groups are needed? What about your leadership base? Enlist and train new leaders. Select curriculum resources. Set a date for new groups. Enlist participants.

24 Ensuring a Successful Small Group Ministry… Have a person responsible for coordination of small group min. Make sure the church knows what is happening with the small group ministry. Maintain the leadership community and on- going training. Develop new small group leaders.


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