When we first started Centerpoint, we had a philosophy that it WAS possible to grow larger & smaller at the same time. The way we intended to accomplish this was through the form of small groups. As we grew larger on Sunday morning we decided our plan was to simply add more small groups thus growing larger & smaller at the same time. We call our small groups Conversation Groups & after nearly 2-years of doing them, I believe they are fulfilling the purpose we envisioned.
The group my wife & I were in finished up our spring session Tuesday night & I can’t stop thinking about the discipleship & community that happened in this setting. People ate together, questioned together, prayed together, struggled together & grew together in their faith. There is something beautiful about what happens in the context of a small group & it’s something that could NEVER happen as profoundly on Sunday morning.
I have a deep conviction that without discussion, people will not grow in their relationship with God. The best example of this in Scripture is Jesus & the Disciples. He taught to the large crowds but he discussed with his small group (Disciples). It was in those moments, around food & fire, we see the Disciples growing in their faith. This is the environment a good small group creates. As pastors & leaders we must realize that there is freedom in relinquishing some of the control & letting the conversation go where people need it go.
The true beauty of small groups is that it creates a forum where questions are ok, community is inevitable & growth will happen. I believe it is possible & necessary to grow larger & smaller at the same time. I also believe this is one of the best ways to turn a church attender into a committed follower of Jesus. This is why small groups matter.