How to organize and grow small groups at your church

Mega churches can feel like metropolises, with so many people coming and going. It's vibrant and energetic, but it can also feel distant. Small groups serve a particularly important purpose for these larger churches as they help get people involved and feel better connected. This fellowship and connection to the good word can have a tremendous impact on membership engagement and growth.

If you're looking to better organize and grow your small groups, consider some simple and smart advice:

Small group outreach

Create a specific strategic plan for growing existing small groups and developing new small groups. Make it your goal to have every member attend a small group in some capacity. A big part of this is having a strong core of volunteers who passionately help lead groups. Once that is established, make sure you have a variety of options to attract different types of personalities. For example, some Bible study groups are ongoing and others study one subject for a finite amount of time. What's more, variety is the spice of life: The same person who wants to participate in a theater group may not be the same person who wants to work on the church green committee. Offer many options to catch the interest of the most participants.

Get small group directories

Small groups are like sub-communities at a church. Think of a large office building with various teams. It's sometimes difficult to know who is on what team, so businesses often have directories of some kind. At a church, you can better keep small groups organized by having Lifetouch Church Directories come and create a special directory for small groups and staff. For example, you may do a section dedicated to all the teachers of religious education and youth ministry. This specialty directory becomes an easy reference for current members as well as for outreach efforts to grow new membership.

Plan for growth

This might seem obvious, but many church groups can quickly feel exclusive and it can be difficult to be the new person in the room. Make sure current members are consistently welcoming new members. If new people sign up, make time to introduce everyone at the start of the session. Name tags are beneficial for new people as well as those who have participated for years. Print out materials, have extra supplies on hand and be open to any questions. If groups reach about an 80 percent capacity, consider splitting or offering another time. You don't want to reach your cap without a plan, and ideally no one would ever be turned away.

Small groups become important bricks that support the foundation of the church. If you organize the groups, evaluate offerings and boost outreach, you'll grow your small groups and your church will benefit tremendously.