3 ways to make greater impact in missions through your small groups

by Kurt Rahn, Church Resource Team on January 19, 2017

Small groups can be one of the most effective tools for churches to make more engaged disciples. They are a way for people to get more involved in your church. They provide a valuable opportunity for fellowship. They give church members a space and time outside of your weekly services to dive deeper into Scripture.
We know anecdotally that small groups make an impact on church members, but did you know that people who attend small groups tend to be more engaged with their faith than those who don’t? Here are some interesting statistics from Lifeway Research:
  • 66% of attenders say that if they go several days without reading the Bible they find themselves unfulfilled versus 33% of non-attenders.
  • 73% of attenders say they intentionally put their spiritual gifts to use serving God and others versus 42% of non-attenders.
  • 74% of attenders say that throughout the day they find themselves thinking about biblical truths versus 45% non-attenders.
While this evidence shows that small groups are extremely beneficial, I believe that there’s an opportunity that most churches are still missing – utilizing small groups to disciple their congregation around God's heart for the poor.
Here are 3 easy ways you can help your small groups become more engaged in caring for the poor:
Make it part of discipleship
Many small group leaders aren't connected to your church’s missions team. They may not know what projects your church is focused on or what resources are out there to help them lead their small group. Think about training your small group leaders and challenging them to integrate caring for the poor into their small group activities. Getting small group leaders excited about service and missions will allow them to lead their group to care for the poor in a way that works for their group.
Get them engaged in missions
Engaging in small groups is also a great way for your missions and service teams to find new volunteers and fundraisers. Encourage your small groups to volunteer together or attend missions events together. This will be beneficial to your missions teams as well as the small groups as they grow closer while they serve together.
Also, consider challenging small groups to take on a fundraising goal. Sharing a goal as a team is a great way to have small groups put their faith into action and get creative together.
Group causes
Some people have specific causes that they are passionate about, and that's okay. Although you'd like to get everyone in your church excited about your larger church programs, that is not always as easy as it sounds. Remember, the most important thing is that your small groups are discipling their group members around God's heart for the poor. One way to do this is to have each small group pick a new cause every year. They can fundraise, volunteer, and serve focused on one specific cause for an entire year. Having small groups give of themselves for the poor many times a year will change their hearts and make them more compassionate.

Small groups are one of your church's most important tools for discipleship. Focusing on incorporating God's heart for poor will not only change the heart of your congregation, but it will change your community and the world.

Download FREE resources for your small groups here.

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