This month’s tips come from Pastor Dave Dunham, who wrote an article on small-group ministry back in 2014. His advice for evaluating small-group ministry is still fully relevant today.
Pastor Dunham’s basis for small groups revolves around how Jesus wants us to support each other in the family of God. “Small groups enable churches to fulfill the ‘one another’ commands of Scripture,” he says. “We are told to love one another, instruct one another, pray for one another, bear one another's burdens. . . . Small groups provide the church with unique opportunities to build relationships where we can hold one another accountable, pray for one another, challenge one another, and support one another.”
He guides his leaders to evaluate the work of their small groups by looking for specific benchmarks in the participants. He calls these The Four C’s:
- Biblical Content
Do the members of the small group know how to study the Bible? Are they growing in God’s Word?
- Christ like Character
What struggles are impacting each group member? Are the other group members praying for these struggles? Are they reminding each other of God’s grace and forgiveness?
- Christian Community
Are members of the group actually showing up? Do they really want to be there? Is there a deeper issue that is keeping them from meaningful fellowship in the small group?
- Discipleship Competency
Are leaders modeling discipleship? Are the group members confident in witnessing and supporting others as they walk with Jesus?
To read more about Pastor Dunham’s approach to small-group ministry, read his article in Christianity Today.
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