For the next several Mondays let’s examine some of the challenges that small groups may face.
Our first challenge is the problem of no room. Your group has outgrown the place where you meet. What do you do?
First of all, praise God for such a challenge. Hurray! Your group is growing. That is just the way it should be. But, once groups fill their space, there tends to be a drop off in attendance because the size of the group becomes a limitation. Let’s think how you might successfully lead through this challenge.
- Find a large space for meetings. If you are meeting at the church building, is there another room available? Would a smaller group swap rooms with you?
- Re-arrange your space. I like meeting around tables but tables take up seating space. Can you remove the tables or re-arrange furniture to make space for a few more chairs?
- If you are meeting at church, can the group change their meeting time? Can you meet after worship service in a larger room instead of meeting prior to worship service?
- If meeting off-campus, can you find another meeting space? Would someone volunteer a larger living room? Is there an office space with more room where the group can meet? Is there an apartment community room available? Is there a restaurant who would host the meetings?
- The best long-term solution is for the crowded group to launch a new group. If two groups come from one group you suddenly have twice the space for new attenders.
- If you are using an apprentice teacher, then you are probably ready to launch a new group using him or her as the new leader.
- Decide which leader will lead which group. My assumption is that if your group creates a new group, you understand a lot about small groups and you should volunteer to take the new group. But continue to coach that apprentice who is taking the old group.
- New groups work out best when everyone in the original group is working toward that idea. A reproducing DNA should be a part of every small group.
- New group transitions are better with some planning and anticipation of starting a new group.
- Ask current group members to determine if they will stay in the original group or move to the new group. Then all group members in each group become catalysts for growth in each group.
- After both groups form, meet together for a couple of times over the next few months for parties and fellowships to encourage both groups. You might also consider a joint service project.
- Plant the notion in each group that successful groups launch new groups. Expect more new groups to follow.
Don’t be discouraged when you run out of space for your small group. Instead, rejoice in what God is doing. But, get prepared now to implement a solution before the crowded condition harms attendance. Pray your way through this transition. Be sure that God wants more people to learn his Word and be transformed as they learn it.
Scripture: Read Acts 2:46-47. The church faced the challenge for rapid growth. How does this verse encourage you as you face growth in your group?
Dig Deeper: Read Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint by Ben Reed.
Now It’s Your Turn: Have you ever launched a new group? What was your biggest challenge? Please share your ideas so we can all grow together.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”