Small Groups

Small groups are bands of people who meet together for a shared purpose. Within a church setting, groups typically meet for the purposes of discipleship and friendship.  

No two groups are alike and there is no perfect ministry formula for churches to follow. This presents group leaders with many options and a few challenges. This also gives groups the potential for sustainable growth and impact.  

MinistryLift offers several training workshops that can be customized to fit the specific ministry needs of your church or small group. You can contact MinistryLift to discuss the training options that you're interested in or you can choose to purchase a training video below and watch it at your leisure. You'll also find blog articles related to small group ministry at the bottom of this page. 

TRAINING WORKSHOPS
Each workshop option is typically delivered as a 75-minute presentation. However, each can be modified to fit your context (workshops can be shortened, lengthened, or even combined with elements from other workshops). The length of the training videos vary due to the amount of group activities and discussions, but they are typically 30-50 minutes long. You can choose to purchase an individual training video (click Add to Cart below each session description), or the complete set (9 videos in total), but you'll receive the greatest value if you become a MinistryLift member. Current members get immediate access to all of the videos on this page (plus all of our other training videos) plus free webinars and discounts on future training events. Read more about MinistryLift Memberships or register below. 

Note: In 2014, MinistryLift held a Small Groups Conference. You can purchase or view (if you're a MinistryLift member) these videos on the Small Groups 2014 Recordings Page.


Purchase a MinistryLift Membership

Four Strategies for Growing Your Small Group

A recent research study discovered that small groups that see people accept Christ, increase in size, and multiply into additional groups have four things in common (these findings come from Small Groups, Big Impact: Connecting People to God and One Another in Thriving Groups): they have small group leaders who grow their groups by modelling and facilitating prayer, outreach, care, and the empowerment of group members. This Workshop gives an overview of the research and how small group leaders can leverage these factors to achieve maximum growth in their small group. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Four Strategies" training video

Leader Preparation Skills 
There are four essential skills related to a leader's preparation: growing as a small group leader (we will look at the biblical character of Nehemiah and how his example gives us a framework for growing in our capacity to serve as small group leaders), discernment, biblical understanding, and making the most of curriculum. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free).


Purchase the "Leader Preparation Skills" training video

Skills for Leading a Small Group
Leading small group meetings is a foundamental skill for group leaders. This workshop explains a healthy structure for group times which includes: breaking the ice, establishing a flexible structure for your meeting times, using non-verbal cues effectively, and active listening. Asking excellent questions is the fifth skill and it constitutes an additional workshop (see below). You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Skills for Leading a Small Group" training video

Asking Excellent Questions
The skill of asking excellent questions is the key to launching and guiding small group discussions in a direction that is profitable for the group. This workshop identifies principles that help group leaders develop their own questions and an exercise to help them practice. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Asking Excellent Questions" training video

Shepherding Skills
Small group leaders have the incredible privilege of providing care for their small group. In this workshop, specific shepherding skills are outlined, such as: making disciples, building a healthy group culture, investing time in building community, providing support, and practicing loving confrontation. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Shepherding Skills" Training Video

Addressing our Differences  
When people get together, disagreement often follows. Many group leaders are faced with the challenge of choosing how to manage differences between people while keeping their group focused on their united purpose. This workshop outlines biblical principles for managing conflict and applies them to small group settings. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Addressing our Differences" training video

Mentoring Others 
Mentoring others (sometimes referred to as coaching) is the skill of asking good questions and providing timely counsel that motivates a person to act on what God is asking them to do. This workshop addresses how a group leader can mentor people in their group and develop a culture where others can do the same. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Mentoring Others" training video

Outreach and Multiplying Skills 
The strongest communities have a sense of mission beyond themselves. This workshop identifies several essential outreach and multiplying skills: mobilizing and equipping people to serve, encouraging group members to be missional, adding members to your group, launching a new group, and reducing launch pains. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Outreach and Multiplying Skills" training video

Small Group Systems 
This workshop discusses how the larger church can foster healthy small group systems by creating a strong culture of prayer, equipping, and coaching of small group leaders. You can contact MinistryLift for more information about this workshop or purchase the training video below (MinistryLift members: click here to access this video for free). 


Purchase the "Small Group Systems" training video


Purchase the complete series of small group training videos

As noted above, you can also purchase or view (if you're a MinistryLift member) the videos from the MinistryLift 2014 Small Groups Conference on the Small Groups 2014 Recordings Page.

 

BLOG ARTICLES 
MinistryLift bloggers sometimes write about small group leadership and volunteerism. Here are some articles that relate to these topics. 

Why Most People Don't Want to Lead Small Groups - leading a small group comes with many expectations, but there's another reason why group leaders are hard to find
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Leading a Small Group - plus, advice from our Facebook followers to first-time small group leader Deep thought
4 Strategies for Growing Your Small Group - healthy, growing small groups have four things in common
Essential Skills for Leading Small Groups - effective small group leaders have developed skills in these areas 
10 Immediate Strategies for Recruiting Volunteers - what to do if you're faced with a current need 
10 Long-Term Strategies for Recruiting Volunteers - how to implement strategies that will strengthen your team into the future 
Why Being a Mentor isn't as Scary as You Think - four skills to help people in your group take next steps

CONTACT MINISTRYLIFT 
If you're interested in exploring how MinistryLift can help you strengthen your small group ministry, please click here to start the conversation

Randy Wollf picture

Dr. Randy Wollf is Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Leadership Studies at MB Seminary (Langley, BC campus) and Director of MinistryLift. Randy served as a pastor (including several years overseeing small groups), church planter, and missionary for 20 years prior to his current position. In addition, Randy has been involved in small groups of various kinds for 25 years including helping to start missional communities as part of a house church network.

Keith Reed

Keith Reed served as an associate pastor for eight years before he joined the MinistryLift team in 2015 as the Associate Director. During his time as a pastor, Keith oversaw discipleship, pastoral care, and ministry management. Keith has led many different types of small groups, spanning from Alpha table groups to traditional Bible study groups.