Small Groups Share Insights From Sunday Sermons

A picture of the silhouette of a group of people cheering towards the sun
A picture of the silhouette of a group of people cheering towards the sun
By Li ShiguangApril 26th, 2024

In the post-pandemic era, many believe that churches must adopt a small group structure. In recent years, a church in a southern city has explored this approach, using their small group model for three years with very good results.

Pastor Gao, a senior pastor of this city church, explained that all their small groups do not learn "New Life, New Living" or other small group courses that are introduced from Hong Kong or overseas, but are centered around Sunday sermons. For example, on Monday or Tuesday evenings, members of each small group gather to share and discuss the Sunday service message, as well as discuss its application, practice, and assignments.

Since pastors also convey the church's goals and vision in the service, focusing on Sunday sermons can ensure consistency of targets and vision for small groups, preventing deviation or division. It also improves the church’s relationships with small groups and group members.

For instance, in one Sunday service, the pastor talked about Jesus and his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee and experiencing a storm. Initially, the disciples tried human methods such as frantic rowing and adjusting the sails to stabilize the boat, but their efforts came to nothing. Then they anxiously woke Jesus up, who completely calmed the storm. During the small group discussion, each person shared storms in their lives, such as mental health issues and academic pressures in children, adults’ endless tasks, and anxiety in the workplace and family. The pastor reminded believers to awaken Jesus in their lives, and that if they did, Jesus would calm all their storms.

"In our church, small group leaders don't need to prepare lessons or search for materials. They just need to guide Christians in sharing their insights on Sunday sermons. Therefore, in our church, small group leaders have a relatively easy role," said Pastor Gao. However, he also advocates for reducing the burden on them. Pastors and some church staff serve full-time, but small group leaders must balance work and serving the group. Additionally, many tasks previously handled by pastors or pastoral staff have shifted to small group leaders, who may feel overwhelmed. Therefore, the church provides monthly training sessions for the small group leaders who report on their group's status, with pastors offering guidance on effectively leading small groups.

"Sunday sermons can provide you with some insights, but we get more inspiration when all group members share their gains." After sharing and discussing the Sunday service message, they can also engage in other knowledge-sharing and life-related activities, such as playing badminton or working out together. Pastor Gao said, "These kinds of sharing and activities make everyone very happy." Since they create a relaxing atmosphere, newcomers can be brought into the small groups.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

related articles
LATEST FROM Church & Ministries