How to Start Small Groups

Free Course

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.

Here at Discipleship Ministries, one of our strategic priorities is encourage all local churches to create intentional discipleship systems for their church. Small groups are imperative for any intentional discipleship system within the life of a congregation.

Like others, just thinking about all the logistics of small group ministry can be overwhelming. Where are they going to meet? How will I get participants to sign up? How will the small groups handle childcare? Who will lead them? What kind of training do the leaders need? When and how will I do that? What curriculum will the group’s use?

While this course might not answer every question you have, we are going to aim to cover many of them including: the key role pastors have in being champions of small group ministry, the importance of connecting small groups with a culture of discipleship, how small groups can and should be connected with worship, and the essential elements of a small group.

This teaching series will also have an online forum we would strongly encourage you to utilize as a place to share your challenges, hopes, and celebrations in small group ministry. Small group ministry is challenging, but it is not rocket-science. You are not alone in this journey. This course will go a long way in equipping you and your church for a thriving small group ministry.

Scott Hughes is the Director of Adult Discipleship; Executive Director of Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. He is also an Elder in the North Georgia Conference, with an M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, and D. Min. from Southern Methodist University. Rev. Hughes hosts the Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way podcast, and is creator of the Courageous Conversations project.