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Types of Small Group and Its components
Paul Jang  2008-03-24 09:07:08, hit : 2,921


Types of Small Group and Its components

There are many different types of small groups in a church, which are known by many different names: orientation groups (which orient new members to the church), caring and sharing groups (which emphasize gracious Christian life), discipleship groups (which emphasize learning and training), home cell groups (which emphasize fellowship and membership increase through cell division), ministry groups (which emphasize church managements), and evangelism and mission groups (which emphasize outreach for church growth) (Williams 1991, 10-11)

Jeffrey Arnold focused small groups in a church on prayer circles, Bible studies, mission fellowships, sharing and caring groups, evangelistic teams, church ministry committees, new menber classes, house churches, and covenant groups (Arnold 1992, 9).

Another classification focused small groups on nurture groups has been described to the basic type of group. This nurture group program has been explained by Dan Williams, as a speciality group which emphasizes one or more components of group life over other components as follows:

There are accountability groups (which emphasize exhortation), prayer groups (which emphasize intercession), and training groups (which emphasize learning). Very popular today are worship groups (which emphasize certain spiritual gifts) and ministry groups (which emphasize healing) (Williams 1991, 11).

The type of small group may be varied in different name according to its function. But the small groups must be organized in effect on the growth of the church as well as easy operations. These are very important.

The components of the basic small groups in the New Testament times have shown in Acts 2:42-47.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (NIV)

In these passages four components of the small group
have been found: nurture, worship, community and mission to which the believers were devoted. These are four ingredients essential for vibrant Christian life (Nicholas et al. 1985, 23). First, nurture means that the new believers devoted themselves to the apostle's teaching (Acts 2:42). Second, worship means the believers' response with awe to God's calling through the Gospel which was proclaimed by the apostles (Acts 2:43). Third, community means a society with fellowship or koinonia and sharing everythings together in common (Acts 2:44-45). Fourth, mission means that good things of the Gospel should be shared out to others (Acts 2:43).

The expression of four ingredients of small group
of the early church had resulted in rapid growth of the church (Nichlas 1982, 29). Although every group needs these four components, some groups will emphasize one of them, while other groups will emphasize others because of the diversity of gifts and the various tasks to be performed in the church. But some groups try to balance all four components in their activities (Nicholas 1985, 27). Of course, It is not mandatory for the group to keep the balance of the four components. But it is effective in ministry therefore that every group combines the four components of Christian life as the early church fellowship (Acts 2:40-47; Nicholas 1985, 27).




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