In my last post I posed this question, “If you had to choose between large group or small groups, which one would you choose, and why?”
The reality is so many times we do in fact choose one over the other. We give more resources, time, thought, planning, and staff toward one rather than the other.
It is easier to staff, budget and run a weekly large group program… and there are some fantastic large group programs out there for both students and adults. The large group has become a formula that we plug people into and expect a certain outcome. During the 60 minutes they sit in that seat we hope to present and accomplish church for them. We hope to provide the opportunity of what could seem to many like a one stop shop for Jesus. I know this isn’t the heart intention of our churches or youth groups, but it’s the way it comes across to many. How did I come to that conclusion? Because they show up for the large group but won’t get involved in a small group or take next steps to serve in the church.
If I had to choose, and I do… the winner in my book is small groups. I will not deny that large group has a very important role and without it many would not attend church, hear truth, or perhaps even be challenged to get more involved by plugging into a small group or serving. I have a feeling this is backwards, we have detoured from how the church initially expanded–through smaller groups, church planting, the sending out of disciples.
There needs to be a healthier relationship between the large group and small group planning. For me and my ministry, the large group exists to support our small groups. My actual “large group time” is cut in half… half of the program time is actually given to small groups and their small group leaders to connect, have conversations, ask questions, and enjoy relationships with the students they meet with every week.
What are your thoughts on this?