Good to GREAT small groups

February 10, 2010

After 6+ years of trying to help develop a healthy small group ministry at our church, I think I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of what small groups can be.  I have also been right in the center of life change and life drain in my own personal group experiences.  While I have many thoughts to share about the value of grouplife, my recent thoughts have been steered in this direction:  Group health seems to be like a bell curve with test scores.  Some groups bomb, some groups are off the charts the other way, but most groups are just good or average.  So what then are the defining characteristics of groups that are great?

Here is what I have stumbled upon.  5 defining essentials.  All 5 are needed or a group will never reach its full redemptive potential.  All 5 were present in Jesus’ small group which was about one thing: making disciples (becoming fishers of men).  At Oakbrook, small groups reflect this same mission: friends spurring one another on to become like Jesus so the world may come to know Him.  Here are the 5:

1. GREAT Leadership

2. GREAT Vision

3. GREAT Community

4. GREAT Discipleship

5. GREAT Mission

Challenging to pull ALL of these off?  Extremely.  It rarely happens.  But unless you do, your group will never be great.  Good, yes, but not great.  Jesus’ group was great and we are called to strive for the same greatness so the world will come to know Him!

I will unpack these 5 essentials in a series of short posts in the days ahead.


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