Are Small Groups Dead?

Disclaimer – The following does not represent anyone or any organization – past, present, or future church that I attend and am crazy in love with, just me asking ME a few (thanks Brian Jones) tough questions…..

Like:

1. Do Small Groups create disciples?

2. Do Small Groups trick us into believing we’re serious about making disciples?
Unofficial Stat – The problem is 90% of small groups may never produce one single disciple. Is that OK?  They help Christians make shallow friendships for sure. They’re great at helping Christians feel a tenuous connection to their local church. And they do a bang-up job of teaching Christians how to act like other Christians in the evangelical Christian subculture. But when it comes to creating the kind of holistic disciples Jesus envisioned, I’m afraid that the jury’s decision may have come back a long time ago.  I agree with Brian:

I believe in creating disciples

…I believe that this is what the church is called to do

…But in most instances disciples are created in spite of the small groups people participate in, not because of them

…And the problem is NOT the incredible staff pastors who lead them in churches, or the sacrificial and godly people who serve as individual small group leaders, or the willing and committed people who participate in them, but the “wineskin” itself

In my opinion, the issue is not Small Groups, but what we define Small Groups to be…their purpose…intention…objectives.

3. Are Small Groups as we know them an outdated structure who time has come to die? Maybe, maybe not.

…nothing wrong with questioning the “Sacred Cow”…..right?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Roy – I’ve been asking that question myself, especially in light of the fact that my church has a poor participation percentage of our congregation in small groups. However, we have 2 smaller discipleship groups going which are effecting some pretty incredible change in those who are participating.

    The larger small groups, I believe, are going to be more of a front door (maybe side entry door?) to our church. While they may not create disciples per se, it will foster some level of spiritual discipline outside of the weekend gathering.

    I think small groups as they are currently structured are just one more tool that leads a person to becoming a disciple. The decision to become a disciple, ultimately, is your own. It’s your choice to follow Christ…or not…just like the rich young ruler.

  2. Does unofficial mean there has been no research but someone guesses that this is true, that 90% of small groups don’t produce one disciple?

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