The majority of churches…which have broken growth barrier after growth barrier are churches which have stressed home cell groups. –C. Peter Wagner
Great small groups celebrate success, suffer with one another, and expect God to do more than they can do themselves. – Rick Howerton
We all know that small groups have played a vital role in the history of the church. Jesus had a small group of followers around him whom he shared intimately with. Most of the churches in the New Testament were "small" in comparison to size of our churches today. For the most part they were house churches and houses back then were waaaaaay smaller than they are today. From the time of Christ to today, these values have changed countless lives and helped the church to grow and reach thousands while at the same time give the closeness of a well knitted community. Small groups create an intimate space within the larger body of church. As the church grows larger it can also grow smaller and thats exactly the purpose of small groups.
Small groups are designed with a purpose. Small Groups intentionally are designed to include all aspects of UP, IN, and OUT. They are designed to be a place where youth can grow in their faith, develop as a community, and then learn to live it out in service and through sharing the word of God. They empower, invite, and challenge youth!
After 25 years of leading small groups and coaching small group leaders, I have come to one clear conviction: prayer is the most important activity of the small group leader. – Dave Earley
The UP is the first and foremost reason we gather, we come together to glorify God. We experience God together in worship, teaching, and our response. We pause together in moments of reflection, soaking in God’s presence, and making decisions that change our lives.
Your desire to change your small group can’t be greater than your desire to change within. –Andrew Mason
The IN is how we demonstrate the love of God for one another. We enjoy recreation and fun times together. We grow together in church group time and huddles. And we hang out outside of Homegroups to engage in celebrating life together.
The ‘best small group leader ever’ formed a small team that would eventually change the world. –Michael C. Mack
The OUT is how we live out God's love in the world through service, outreach, and evangelism. We do service projects and share God’s word as an intentional way of living out what we’re learning together.
Small groups are simple yet incorporate so much. They represent the church, the body of Christ, and who God calls us to be. Small groups have changed the world, but they are not perfect. If small groups lack purpose they fall apart and they can do more harm then good.
The resources below give some more insight into small groups and the reasoning behind why do them the way we do.