In Part 1, I mentioned that my previous two blog posts were Revolutionary Sunday School is Missional, Part 1 and Revolutionary Sunday School is Missional, Part 2. I am firmly convinced that Sunday School and small groups can and should be missional. They should take a significant role in helping the church to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). In the process of being missional, small groups are able to accomplish things a bit differently than Sunday School classes.
In Part 1, I shared about a recent article by David Williamson who is an area leader for Saddleback’s couples’ small groups entitled Eight Ways We Reach out to the Community Through Small Groups. In the article, Williamson identified “a few things your small groups can do to reach out to their neighbors.” In Part 1, I shared the first four of his eight ways to reach out. In Part 2, I will share his final four ways for small groups to reach out (to be missional) in all capitals followed by my commentary:
OFFER A SMALL GROUP HOTLINE. I realize that few churches can dedicate a phone number and/or a paid or volunteer staff person to respond to questions of interest or concern about small groups. But it may be able to be one option on a line shared by other ministries with messages responded to daily. This can enable guests in worship as well as people in the community to take the plunge into small group life.
CREATE A SMALL GROUP WEBSITE. This is not as hard as it sounds today. Many churches already have websites. Make this a section of your church website. Or with the advent of blogs, much information can be made available to your leaders and/or to people who are searching for the right group fit. Update regularly and make it searchable by groups, leaders, topics, date/time, and locations. I like Williamson’s observation: “Using a Website allows people to search for groups on their own time.” Include a section on frequently asked questions.
HOST VARIOUS EVENTS OR CLASSES ON CAMPUS.There are two issues here. When you host events for unchurched people on your campus, you make them more comfortable to return for worship, groups, and other activities. But events are also great venues for lifting up the importance of small groups in your church. Williamson observed, “Everything we do on campus (or off campus) generally encourages people to get into groups.” Keep it in front of guests in all you do!
LEVERAGE CAMPAIGNS. There is just something powerful about combining the efforts of worship and small groups during a campaign, whether it is 40 Days of Purpose and 40 Days of Community or any of the other by publishers like LifeWay. These are great opportunities to address real questions people have in our communities. They are natural times to invite guests to our small groups and to launch new small groups.
Look back at Part 1 and examine those four ways along with those above. What step could you take this week to help your small group(s) to be more missional? How can you lead them to think, pray, reach out, and love people to Jesus? Add life and purpose to your group as you lead them to reach out and love people to Jesus. Be revolutionary!