Short-term small groups are awesome.
They shouldn’t be considered any less important than the longer term small groups that are typically talked about. Short-term small groups have their place in ministry and can accomplish things that are difficult for small groups that have a longer time committment.
Over the summer, I led a couple of short-term small groups. Even in the six weeks that each small group met, God used them to transform lives. The impact is observable today, weeks after the small groups completed.
There are several benefits short-term small groups can make happen.
Benefits of Short-Term Small Groups
The following are some of the benefits that a short-term small group Bible study can provide:
People More Likely to Commit
Many people do not want to make a long-term commitment if they do aren’t certain it will benefit them. We know from experience how important it is to be a part of a small group. But there are many who do not have that experience. Having a short-term option encourages participation from those who are reluctant to make a longer-term commitment.
Enticing Outside the Church Family
Many short-term small groups are focused on a specific topic. Some of the topics have appeal to people outside the church. The topics of finances, overwhelm, and health are a few examples of this. Advertising to people outside the church could result in participation from unchurched, unsaved people who are far from God.
Can Lead to Participation in Long-Term Small Groups
Once a people experience small group, they are more willing to sign up and participate in a longer-term small group. You, as the leader, can encourage this. As you get closer to the end of the short-term small group:
- Make sure each member knows how to sign up for a small group
- Point out some of the benefits they are receiving in the current group and let them know those benefits can continue by signing up for a longer-term group
- Ask if they have any questions about small groups. I even went as far as to have a couple of small group leaders come to one of my meetings to do a question-and-answer session with my group members.
Supports Small Group Leader Training
Just like there are some people who are reluctant to make long-term commitments to a small group, there are potential leaders who may be reluctant as well. Short-term small groups are a great training ground for new small group leaders. The initial commitment is not long-term so those reluctant are more likely to give it a try. Also, if the short-term group is using a Bible study where the leader materials are already prepared and easy-to-use, the new leader is less likely to overwhelmed.
Question: What additional benefits do you believe short-term small groups can provide? You can leave a comment by clicking here.