I shared last week that when we moved to Las Vegas to start Verve, it was from a church in Virginia Beach with a successful small group ministry that had been the primary venue for discipleship. But we spent a year understanding the “local predicament” of Las Vegas, and realized that small groups would be difficult because it would be difficult to get groups of 10-15 who could all meet at the same time (because of varied work schedules on the Strip) and because people in Vegas are extremely reticent about going into stranger’s homes. So what to do?
Well, one of the first steps was to deconstruct small groups. What valuable things happen in a small group? We realized some Bible teaching happens, relationships develop, and hopefully there will be some accountability provided.
The second step was constructing a strategy that would replace those valuable missing elements and be effective in developing disciples.
Next time I’ll end this series by telling you the strategy we came up with (due to our local predicament) but first, a question for you: Perhaps you’ve been so myopically focused on succeeding with your small group ministry that you haven’t really thought about what needs to happen in individual small groups for them to be successful. What are the critical elements? And are they actually happening? If your small group(s) stopped meeting, what truly valuable things would be missing?