If you’ve been around Thrive Church for a while you’ve probably heard about “Small Groups.” You’ve heard about how important they are and how there are great things happening in them, but you may be wondering, “What is a Small Group?”
For starters, I think it’s important to point out what a small group is not. A small group is not a Christian club, a classroom, a therapy group, task group, a Bible study or a clique. There is nothing inherently evil about all of those activities (personally I’m not a huge fan of cliques), but they don’t capture the essence of what a Small Group is.
We define Small Groups as 6-15 people that are growing in relationship, discipleship and leadership together. Let’s break this down into 4 areas…
1. 6-15 People – We specify 6-15 people because we don’t want them to be awkwardly small and we don’t them to be too big. In a group of 20-25 people, introverts tend to hide out and dominant personalities start to take over. 6-15 people allows for a comfortable setting where people can share their lives with each other on a personal level.
2. Growing in Relationship – We currently average about 850 people in attendance for our Sunday services. With that many people, it’s impossible to know everybody! If you only attend our services, you’ll only be connected through rows of acquaintances.
When you belong to a small group, you have the opportunity to experience the full benefits of being a part of the body of Christ through authentic relationships. Church will begin to feel more like a family and less like a once-a-week function.
3. Growing in Discipleship – In small groups, we love fellowship and food, but we also want to become stronger men and women of God. As you enter into group life, you’ll hear first hand what God is doing in other peoples’ lives. Hopefully, others will also get to hear what He’s doing in your life too. Couple that with group time in the Word and prayer and you now a great source of spiritual empowerment.
The result of these dynamics will be that your faith is sharpened and strengthened in ways that are not possible on your own.
4. Growing in Leadership – Each Small Group Leader leads their group with 1-4 Assistant Leaders. Assistant Leaders are there to support the group leader and prepare themselves to eventually lead their own group.
We ask all potential Small Group Leaders to first be an Assistant Leader for a season before leading. This makes each Small Group a safe place for future leaders to grow and develop their God-given gifts.