More than just “SIX-MINUTE STUDY #48


      Whether it be family-sized or megga-sized congregations, small groups are required to be a vital church. They come in all shapes and varieties, but when they work well they are an integral part of "being" the church and not just "doing" church.


Let’s be clear, small groups are not just the next trendy church idea. In fact they are God’s idea and Jesus modeled some of the best examples of them in our scriptures.  Read the article, “Why Small Groups? - The reason behind intentional Christian community,” by Carolyn Taketa, the Small Groups Director at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California.


      Leadership is the central focus for our churches as we prepare for Annual Meetings and new Parish and Church Councils. Members on these governing boards review the ministry work of the previous year, but more importantly set the course for 2017. Before we jump into the work right away it is a good idea to start the year with positive and clear intentions for this group’s ministry.


The Episcopal (Anglican) Church in the United States offers some great resources in their “Vestry Papers” webpages. Read the article, “Beginning Your Vestry’s Work Together,” by Nathan E. Kirkpatrick, and explore some ideas for starting the council leadership year off well. (NOTE: ‘vestry’ is the same as council.)


      Two key components are required for healthy and effective ministry teams in congregations. One is a solid mission strategy and vision to help focus the time, talents and energies of parishioners. The other is an intentional priority of genuine relationships – both within and outside the church. (As Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”)


Read what Gannon Simms, of Fresh Expressions USA has to say about “What’s Essential to a Good Ministry Team.”


      Happy New Year! Lots of people in January are pondering how this year could be different, healthier and maybe even holier. Churches can offer something intentional in terms of Christian Formation, where folks can come, ask questions, and explore their spirituality in a caring atmosphere. Ultimately we long for people to grow spiritually and encounter the Christ who transforms lives. Small group gatherings are the most effective way to do this.


Read this comprehensive article by author Amy Jackson called “Intentional Spiritual Growth in Small Groups -

Understanding how we grow and change.”

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