I have been blessed by small groups, led small groups, and organized a church-wide small group ministry. At the same time, I want to remind people that a formal, church-wide small group ministry is not the disciple-making silver bullet. Small groups do not make disciples. Disciples make disciples. A small group ministry provides the opportunity for the people of God to learn and grow together, encourage one another to apply scripture, and pray for one another. It is an attempt to build relationships by providing opportunities for this to happen. These disciple-making relationships can happen with or without small groups. I recently read the following quote "Having small groups is not the same as having a culture of discipling" in the 9Marks Journal on discipleship.
Small groups should not focus on the leader or the members. The purpose of a small group should be the transformation of the members for the glorification of God. These groups should be about Jesus and growing closer to Him, which is why the seminar started with City Alight's "Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me."
Disciple-making is so much more than a weekly meeting in an auditorium or classroom. "Disciple-making is sharing life with one another, as we show each other what it means to follow Christ." I love what David Platt says about disciple-making in this clip. "Disciple-Making is Rigged."
- The Church and Discipleship: What is the church? What is discipleship?
- Small Groups Ministry Basics: What is a Small Groups Ministry? What is the purpose of a small group? What are the marks of a fruitful small group?
- Practical Tips for Small Groups: Teaching/Learning in a small group, Prayer in a small group, Children in a small group.
- The Trellis and The Vine and other discipleship resources
- Fight Song / Amazing Grace by Piano Guys: https://youtu.be/mOO5qRjVFLw
- Microscope and Telescope Magnification message by John Piper: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/i-will-magnify-god-with-thanksgiving (Helpful explanation of what it means to glorify God)