FAQ: What Are Small Groups?

If you are interested in small groups, you might be looking for community or a way to get connected.

The best first step to getting plugged in is to attend Next Move. Next Steps Pastor Priscilla Shields says, “Next Move is the on-ramp to the church.”

If you walk into any of our churches for the first time, it may feel overwhelming. You may curious:

● What is your mission and vision?
● What do you believe about kids and students and small groups and outreach?
● How do I get connected?

“Those are things if you did not have Next Move, you would have to have 50-60 conversations with different people,” she continues. “We believe Next Move is the on-ramp to get people connected to the church family.”

After Next Move, a great step you might take is to join a small group. Small groups are the quickest way to get plugged into church. They help you grow your faith, get connected, and create community.

“Our mission is introducing people to the Real Jesus.”

— Lyndsey Vigil, Marketing and Communications Director

Small group ministries put the personal in personal growth.

While Sunday morning sermons inspire you to take your next steps in your faith, small groups help you figure out what those steps are, and help hold you accountable to take them. Rather than getting teaching from someone you only know from a distance, you learn together with a group of people who know you personally.

If you have never been in a group like this before, or if you are a very private person, it may feel challenging to participate in these ministries. That is completely normal! Ministry feels very personal, because it helps you grow in new ways. Small groups are not designed to change people overnight. They work slowly and steadily to bring about lifelong change.

Marketing and Communications Director Lyndsey Vigil said, “Our mission is introducing people to the Real Jesus, so we put together a curriculum called Real Jesus that our lead pastor wrote with a few other pastors. It is a 10-week curriculum meant for a small group. We could have written a book just on meeting the Real Jesus, but we believe so much in community that we made it into a small group curriculum instead.”

Smaller groups are more flexible.

Some meet on Saturday afternoon at a restaurant. Others meet on a weeknight at someone’s house over dinner. Many of them meet in coffee shops or restaurants, or even break rooms over lunch in workplaces. Small groups do not have set times or places they have to meet. They can meet anywhere and as often as the group members agree upon, although the groups that meet weekly often experience the most spiritual growth.

Kids on the Move’s Ifeanyi Bellamy, formerly head of small groups at the Tulsa location, said small groups play a huge role in helping us find community. “Our small groups that we offer are all about what is it that you do?” he says. “It’s about you finding community. There are several different types of small groups: virtual, Bible study,  bike riding–all of them have different points. If you’re trying to help you grow in your relationship with God or understand the Bible, the Bible Study small group will be the best one for you. Or if you want to connect with others, try a sports group or motorcycle group. If you’re looking to do life with people though, a small group is great option for you.”

Small groups help form deeper relationships.

Relationships last longer when formed in small groups. Time spent together on a regular basis is an important factor in forming strong relationships. It makes a difference what you do with that time though. Recreation is helpful, but the strongest bonds form when people serve together and share their personal struggles. The Bible tells us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Small groups help people do that within healthy boundaries. Those boundaries are important because that kind of care can be overused and abused when it all falls on one person’s shoulder.

Discipleship happens better in small groups.

Discipleship happens in relationships. Author, speaker and researcher Ed Stetzer found that 79% of churches in the United States and Canada consider small groups to be very important to the ministry of the church. Transformation happens through relationships, not just by passing on information. Church small groups act as a training ground in discipleship. Also, they show people how to maintain healthy Christian relationships, and take that discipleship training home to their families, workplaces, and the rest of the world.

If you are not in a small group, contact us for more information about how to get connected. Don’t miss out on the best way to grow in your faith and build lifelong relationships with our church.