Successful church small groups have one thing in common

Successful church small groups have one thing in common
Photo by Fab Lentz / Unsplash

A growing plant in your home means it's healthy; it's the same with your small group. Of course, plants all grow at different rates based on their surroundings and environmental factors.

With God's grace working for His Kingdom, growing a plant might actually be the more difficult of these two tasks.

You might have heard that "the harvest is plentiful." Jesus said it. He followed it up with, "the workers are few." Not sure about you, but I want to be a faithful worker in God's field.

"Just do X thing to grow Y."

I'm skeptical of titles like this. But you can't deny its clickbaity powers to suck you deeper into your inbox.

After practicing this one thing preached about small groups, I can't argue with its importance or effectiveness.

If you're a small group leader (and have possibly even heard this advice), you should probably, strongly consider doing the one thing too.

I've received the "do X to grow your small group" talk a few times. It's a good chat. It capitalizes on the "wow factor" coupled with the "yeah-I-really-should-have-expected-that factor."

Before I explain exactly what that one thing is, I'll share a neat word picture I just read in a Ralph Moore book on church planting.

When Ralph visits different places to teach, he will ask: "What is the final fruit of an apple seed?"

People ponder a while, answering things like a tree, an apple core, or another apple. Things like that, thinking big.

But his answer is an apple orchard. That's probably a bit closer to what God has in mind when he made the apple seed. We want to see an apple orchard of fruit in ministries worldwide.

Thanks for praying and supporting us financially to steward God's apple orchard in Japan, spreading the Gospel of Jesus from this land into the rest of the 10-40 window.

The one thing is:

  • Write a list of your existing small group members
  • Paste it on your bedroom or office wall
  • Pray for each name for a few seconds to a minute every day

Praying for your members daily is the single common denominator for a successful group. It's not charisma, talent, miracles, or a particular spiritual gift. It's love working in faithful prayer for members each day.

  • Acknowledging God's grace with thankfulness brings growth.
  • Exercising daily faith toward the people in our care brings life change.
  • The Holy Spirit accelerated things after I (and others) became more consistent in prayer for our current group.

I'm not perfect at this, and I'm still growing; God gets the credit for using regular, simple prayers to advance His work through our group.

It's an exciting time. Jesus wants your best.

Be blessed, friend. ✌️

P.S. I have a huge personal update coming out later this week. 👀

If you'd like to see that, along with the other personal and ministry updates I send, please subscribe to my ministry update site, Epistle.

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