When considering how to divide interested people into groups, each of the above could be an appropriate choice. First, clarify the purpose for your small groups and then choose the style that helps to achieve that purpose.
- Often the schedules of people interested in joining a small group will determine a group’s membership. When a person is only available on Tuesday night that limits the groups to which you will assign that person.
- Life-stage and schedule tend to be options when planning the small group ministry around a similar purpose or curriculum.
- Small group ministries organized by geography make participation easier for people in each location. If mission is part of the small group goals, the groups can be encouraged to address the needs of the local community or neighborhood. Groups organized by geography also provide a ready resource for connecting new people as well as establishing cross-generational communication.
- The topical approach allows potential participants to identify topics of interest and provides an idea for small groups to organize around.
- “By the leader and group members” should be part of all small groups designed to be “open.” Group participants should always be on the lookout for new people from within as well as outside the church, to invite to join the group.