“The formation of small companies as a basis of Christian effort has been presented to me by One who cannot err.” (Evangelism p. 115 and Vol. 7 Testimonies to the Church p. 21, by Ellen G. White).
Small Groups are clusters of individuals from three to twelve or even larger, depending on the purpose, objective and ministry type of the group. Biblical examples have been given to us in both the Old Testament (Moses and the organization of Israel at the suggestion of his father-in-law Jethro) and the New Testament (Jesus and His twelve disciples). Different types of groups are needed for the purpose of accomplishing their goals and ministries. Remember, Small Groups are not just a nice little optional ministry but a ministry that the God of the Universe has said that we are to be involved in.
These are groups of two to four individuals made up of the same gender. There are three qualifications for one to belong to an Accountability Group:
These qualifications then interpret into three Goals:
- A hungering for a deeper relationship with Jesus
- Covenanting with each other to equip and be equipped (Discipleship) for Spiritual Growth and Ministry
- Having a heart for the lost
- Honestly sharing one’s life victories and struggles in mutual accountability and healing
- Interacting weekly over Discipleship materials and Scripture that have been read and studied daily
- Each member establishes a Blessing List of three to five individuals they are praying for that the group will assist in reaching out to help bring them to Jesus
Ideally two or three Accountability Groups will make up a Trimester Group. This group may be of both genders. The primary purpose of this group is to be a support to the Accountability Groups in their equipping and ministry to others. Trimester Groups meet weekly and will focus on a study or presentation for eight to thirteen weeks to build relationships with those the Accountability Groups are reaching out to in order to bring them to Jesus. These can be Bible Studies or Need Oriented Seminars such as Daniel and Revelation, Stress Control, Cooking Classes, etc. After the task is completed, Trimester Groups may dissolve or the next semester continue with other presentations in reaching out.
Life Groups are just what they sound like, they will continue to meet weekly and add others to the group until the groups reaches a maximum size of about fifteen at which time it will multiply into two or three other groups. The groups seldom die out but continue in ministry, growing, and multiplying. Much like Trimester Groups, they are ideally made up of Accountability Groups and will primarily be a support to and minister in behalf of the ministry of the Accountability Groups. Life Groups will oversee the entire ministry of its members focusing on building Community, Accountability, Leadership, and Equipping. They will function like a mini church yet will be accountable to the church at large. Life Groups focus on raising up leaders, equipping for ministry, reaching the lost, and multiplying for the growth of the Kingdom of God.