Some conversations this week combined with our small group leader training has me thinking about changing the name of our small groups. Just a far-fetched idea and rambling at this point, but thought I would share it here and see if there would be some action in the comments.
The primary purpose of our small groups is fellowship. We emphasize “life-on-life” conversations, accountability and community. Secondarily we strive for discipleship, asking small group leaders to teach Bible topics and lessons in a relevant and personal way to our students. We’ve called these groups in the past “Area Bible Studies (ABS)” and currently HSM Small Groups. But I’m wondering if the name combined with the emphasis on a curriculum, tips the scale toward discipleship and undermines the value of sharing life authentically together? I’m wondering if by default students expect a Bible class or theology lesson, instead of bibical community centered around God’s Word?
In a perfect world and our current discipleship process, I would say that groups should be 70-80% fellowship, and 20-30% fellowship. I wonder if it could be done without specfic materials at all, but share the outpouring of the leader’s and students’ walk with God. I wonder if there is a more accurate expression for our groups that convey the purpose more effectively.
Maybe we should call them … Life Groups.
If you have small groups, what purpose do they serve and what do you call them? I’d love to know and discuss.