Home How to Start Small Groups

How to Start Small Groups

By Scott Hughes

How to Start Small Groups Teaching Series

One of the gifts the church offers is community, specifically small groups where participants can gather to experience acceptance, belonging, and nurture as well as challenge and encouragement for the journey of faith.

You and your church are invited to be part of this online course, along with other churches, to enhance your small group ministry. As we know, the mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We at Discipleship Ministries are convinced that small groups are strategic arenas where formation of discipleship happens.


01 | Introduction
In this session, we will hear from Pastor Brad Kalajainen, the author whose booklet serves as our main text for this course. Kalajainen highlights the role of small groups in pastoral care and growing disciples and leaders within the church. The supplemental material underlines how our baptismal promises are foundational to understanding discipleship.

02 | Why
People inside and outside of our churches are hungering for places that feel smaller and offer welcome, connection, and belonging. Small groups offer that and so much more. In this lesson, Mark Youngman and Joy Dodge of Providence United Methodist Church help us explore the big “why” of small group ministry.

03 | How
We’ve explored the basics of small groups, but now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty. We will examine the keys to launching small groups well, the essential elements of groups that focus on disciple-making, and some other logistics for flourishing small groups.

04 | Go Big
“Go big or go home!” In this final lesson, we’ll cover why curriculum may not be nearly as important as you might think. We’ll also consider when and how a group might need to end, and why it’s important to do so in a healthy manner.

Note: The current course offering will close on March 4, 2022.


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How to Start Small Groups: Growing Larger by Acting Smaller
ENGLISH | SPANISH (Booklet/pdf)

Scott Hughes is the Executive Director of Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship, Elder in the North Georgia Conference, M.Div. Asbury Theological Seminary, D. Min. Southern Methodist University, co-host of the Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way podcast, creator of the Courageous Conversations project, and facilitator of the How to Start Small Groups teaching series.

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