Okay… I just watched an on line video of a guy explaining the difference between House Churches and Small Groups. His church is a church using the term “House Church” for groups that meet in homes. For five minutes he laid out what differentiates Small Groups from House Churches. Not one thing he said wasn’t being done in some churches who call their groups Small Groups, Life Groups, Community Groups, Family Groups, Huddles, Missional Groups, etc… ect… etc… etc… etc… He chose the stereotype of a small group that he has embraced (Due to his comments, I’d be nearly certain he hasn’t researched the amazing diversity that exists in the groups movement.) then looked at the philosophy of his own church then went on to differentiate between the two models… one model he truly understands, his own. The other… he only knows what he has imagined those groups to be, not what is the reality.
For those of you who find it necessary to differentiate between what your church is doing (or the way the movement your church is connected to does groups) and other group approaches, you might want to keep in mind that there are already groups that…
1. Meet together as families with the kids as equals in the group
2. Are Gospel centered
3. Eat a full meal when the group gathers
4. Are on mission together to reach the subdivision they meet in
5. Have leaders who are considered elders
6. Invite those far from Christ to be part of the group
7. Baptize those who find Christ through the group in a group member’s swimming pool and a group member baptizes them
8. Believe the Bible is the primary curriculum
9. Go on mission together
10.Pray for, expect God to, and have seen Him work miracles
Creating a new term and a tweaked ideology may get you a book deal but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something that has never been done before. After all, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
Perhaps the most dangerous groups pastor is the one who wants to do something that has never been done before so he leaves behind tried and tested approaches. That pastor may be setting aside those actions and activities that have made a group a healthy, transformational, biblical group since the three years Jesus had oversight of His own.
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Three Ways to Reinvent Your Small Group Ministry
Small Group Models
by Mark Howell