Originally posted 03-15-2010. Reposted 03-23-2011.
I only started working a lot with small groups 5 years ago. Since then I’ve learned a ton about small groups and I’ve been blessed with a large network of friends in the small group ministry world. I’ve learned there are tons of different approaches and models for small group ministry and I’ve noticed something funny: small group pastors are kinda clannish.
Some small group pastors are in the “House Church” camp, some are in the “Host” camp, some in the “Big Idea” camp, the “Neighborhood” camp, the “Holistic” camp, the “Sunday School” camp, the “Cell Church camp, the “Meta-church” camp, the “Free Market” camp, the “Missional” camp, the “Sermon-Based” camp, the “Activate” camp, and so on. It’s almost like small group pastors have thrown themselves into “small-group-denominations”. I think it’s funny that this happens because the people who originally created these models or styles of group ministry didn’t intend on creating small group denominations, they were just trying to make disciples. It’s the people who adopted their models who started lumping themselves into factions.
The bottom line for me is that it doesn’t matter which model or approach a church uses as long as they are making disciples. Keep in mind that every model has its problems and its advantages; no model is perfect. Models and methods change but the goal of discipleship never changes. Regardless of the model your church prefers, let us not forget that we are all on the same team and that our goal is the same. Let us never be divided by our methods or preferences, rather let’s celebrate the diverse and creative ways that disciples are being made.