5 Habits of Highly Effective Small Groups

So much of success in life depends on how you handle the details. Often, your character and your outcomes are both a product not of large decisions, but of little choices and habits that happen on a daily basis. This is especially true of discipleship in church communities. If you look at the little habits of effective small groups, you will probably notice the following five similarities.

1. They have a vision.

Does your small group have a vision? It is important to know why you are taking the time to meet every week. If your small group community hasn’t discussed exactly why you are a group, then it is time to have that discussion. No vision is unworthy or too small; even creating new friends in Christ or fleshing out concepts discussed in church is a valid reason. Just make sure you and all of your co-members understand why you exist and what fruit you expect from the experience.

2. They stay in touch between meetings.

Discipleship requires more than a scheduled and structured meeting. It is important for the bonds created in small group to extend into personal relationships. This does not require outings and other difficult-to-plan activities. A program such as StudyChurch can help with this aspect by offering a place to discuss lessons outside of the group and begin to create bonds that last a lifetime.

3. They pray for other group members regularly.

Prayer is an essential part of any endeavor, but especially important for a small group. Members should be encouraged to pray not just for the group, but for individual group members on a regular basis. Discuss the importance of prayer with your group and encourage making a commitment to daily prayer for the group as a whole as well as members and future members.

4. They come prepared.

Do your small group members come prepared for Bible study? Have they read and reflected on the materials? When people come prepared for group meetings, they can immediately jump into the ‘meat’ of the lesson and offer different viewpoints. A small group often includes Bible study, but it should be so much more than that. This is a place to build knowledge of lasting value and a community of disciples.

5. They reach out to others.

A small group that isn’t growing is stagnating. Talk to people outside of your group, especially others at your church, about your small group and its benefits. Encourage members to bring guests and to welcome other people’s guests wholeheartedly.

These habits may seem small, but they are important factors in the success of a small group and the fruit that it bears in your member’s lives. Try one or all of these habits on a daily basis to make your small group more effective.

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