Thinking Out Loud

January 23, 2018

Your Other Small Group: Why You Should Have Two

Back in the day, they were called cell groups.

In the earliest models provided by church growth experts they were drawn as small circles (cells) connected to a large circle (the parent church). They later came to be known as small groups or house groups or house church fellowships.

Full disclosure: My wife and I haven’t been in one for a long time. In some ways her worship teams provide that fellowship and interaction for her. My bookstore community provides a huge source of connection throughout the week. If we could find the right group, meeting at the right time that works with our schedules, I would certainly want to sign up.

I am a great believer in small groups. At the fastest growing church movement in Canada, The Meeting House, pastor Bruxy Cavey is known for telling his people, “If some week you face a choice between attending your house group and attending church on Sunday, choose the house group.” There is an immediacy and an intimacy in sharing our journey with others, whether bound by the age and stage we’re at in life, or by geographic proximity.

Today, I want to suggest something a little out of the ordinary; something you don’t hear in the annual appeals to become a member of a Connection Group or Life Group or whatever your church calls it.

You need to also have one part of the week where you’re connected to your broader community.

You need to have contact with people who are outside the Christian bubble.

You need a non-work, non-neighborhood, non-family context in which to rub shoulders with people outside the bubble. Unchurched people. People far from God. People Jesus loves.


Because doing so would be intentional.

In a Jerusalem-Judea-Samaria context, your neighbors, family members and co-workers are your primary sphere of influence. That’s your Jerusalem.

But you need a Judea.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Coaching a soccer or baseball team
  • Serving on a civic (local government) committee
  • Singing in a community choir
  • Sort donations at the local food bank
  • Joining a book group
  • Helping out with a local theater production
  • Taking a community college course
  • Sign up as a volunteer at the seniors home
  • Offer to be scheduled once a week at a thrift shop
  • Serve at your elementary school’s breakfast program

These types of things provide us with opportunities to be salt and light in our respective communities.

I realize you are more accustomed to the type of appeal we talked about yesterday, to use your gifts in the church. I also believe that a small group Bible study needs to be a higher priority.

But next, I think we need to consider doing and being more in our respective communities. We need to reach out to the wider populace which surrounds us. It’s good for them, and it’s good for us.

Some of us are far too trapped inside the bubble. We need a second small group.


  1. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.

    Comment by Vincent S Artale Jr — January 23, 2018 @ 4:28 pm

  2. Good stuff! I came across this post when looking for blog posts about small groups. Glad I landed here! Keep up the great work! If you ever want to write about blog posts and are willing to guest post, be sure to check out – We’re looking for people to write about church small groups / community. Regards, Alex (

    Comment by Alex Sanfilippo — January 30, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

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