Granger Community Church Small Groups
I'm going to take a break from the NCC FAQ series and focus the spotlight on another church and how they do small groups-- Granger Community Church.
First, Granger Community Church's Innovative Church Conference. Wow. I was so overwhelmed at their creativity and commitment to excellence. Their environments and staging were amazing. Every session was great-- I particularly appreciated Tim's talk on buzz and the appropriate intersections of faith and pop culture. I got to hang out with some of their team-- Tony, Tim, Mark, and Kem. I'm super excited because they posted notes from their breakout sessions.
They are also doing some interesting things with their small groups. They have made a decision that they are a church with small groups as opposed to a church of small groups. (For more brain straining on that concept, read here) That really relieves all the pressure that comes with churches that put all their discipleship eggs into the small group basket. Instead, they are a church of relationships and acknowledge that relationships can and should be built in a number of different environments. They have really based their connecting philosophy on Joseph Myer's book, The Search to Belong. If you are a connections/discipleship/community pastor or involved in facilitating those environments in any way, then you definitely need to read this book.
Here's how their groups work. Each month, they kick of "Starting Point" (not to be confused with Northpoint's version of Starting Point). These Starting Point groups are short introductions to group life. At the end of the trial run, the group can stay together or start over. The leader leaves the group and starts a new Starting Point while the remainder of the group continues on. The remaining group chooses a leader, but the entire group goes through leadership training. That was the thing that intrigued me the most. I love the idea that the entire group, not just the leader, understands the vision and values of group life. I'm just not sure how to implement it in our existing structure.
They also run "Turning Point" for recovery groups.
They have a series of core classes, based on the Saddleback baseball diamond model, but they are not offered within the small group context.
Here is a link to their group information.