Everybody wants to see their small group grow. Not only in numbers but in knowledge, prayer, leadership etc. Since the beginning of the year I have been noticing some groups growing more than others so I wanted to take a look at those groups and see if there was a common thing between them. Come to find out, there is. There is 4 things that growing groups all have in common. So if you want growing groups, they should have these things:
Caring/Fun- Why do I put these together? Groups that have fun together seem to be a little closer in friendships. Fun and laughter break down walls quicker than anything else and relationships with students and leaders become closer. Because of this, this allows groups to care for each other in a better, closer way when something within the group comes to a serious spot. Someone in the group is struggling with a sin, there is a death in the family, etc the group is already close and the care and compassion in the group grows as well. Groups that have fun, eat meals, genuinely care for their members grow.
They go out- A lot of people tend to think that small groups are inward focus only. I mean, that is part of it. It's a way to make the church feel smaller and to really get into some things. But groups that serve together stay together. Groups that are also outward focused are the groups that are growing numerically, spiritually and in leadership. These groups are attractive to students because this generation of students (whether you believe it or not) wants to go out and tangibly serve. If you are not serving with your group, you are missing out.
Empower students- True leaders don't do everything themselves. They empower others to lead as well. The groups that are growing are putting their students in charge of hosting group, leading the Bible studies, picking a serve project, organizing a fun day for the group and leading in prayer. Sometimes as the group leader we feel need to do everything, I dare you to take a step back and let your students lead some things and I bet you will surprised at how well the respond.
Prayer is strong- This might be cliché but it's true. The groups that have the most growth in all areas have a leader whose prayer life is strong. They all have leaders who constantly pray, have a quiet time, pray for the members in the group, pray for the group members during group and who pray for others outside the group. Because of this, they see more people come closer to Christ because they themselves are closer to Christ. Growing groups have prayerful leaders.
Now this is just looking and reflecting on leaders we have in our ministry, but I can almost be sure this will be common in any ministry out there. All have amazing leaders in our ministry that without them, we wouldn't be able to do what we do and reach as many students as we reach now. Let's make sure to honor them by using them as an example for growing groups and let's make sure they know we are thankful for them this week.