Small Groups, Big Church
Our strategy is to grow a network of home-based small groups who will meet together as a large group for worship once a week. We have three main activities in our small groups: Prayer, Study, and Action
Prayer: Each week, someone is praying for you. In small groups, we lift up the concerns of our lives, we talk about where we’ve seen God active or where God seems absent, and we pray for the concerns of the world. Every person has the opportunity to pray, and every person gets lifted up in prayer.
Study: Each week we explore an area of the Bible or a topic that helps us grow in our relationship with God and each other.
Action: There are two kinds of action small groups do each month: they invite and they serve. Each month, the group prays for a person who could benefit from being part of the group, and then they invite that person. The group also looks for ways to serve in their own community or neighborhood each month, from serving meals to collecting canned goods to doing a workday at one of our partner mission agencies.
Small groups have all the DNA of the big church. The ancient term for this is “ecclesiolae in ecclesia,” or “little churches in a big church.” Ideally, groups grow organically and reproduce by multiplying. Jesus talked about it like mustard weeds, or like yeast, which spreads insidiously throughout the world.
While we Christians often talk about being fruitful, the goal of a tree is not to only produce fruit, but another tree. A fruitful disciple produces more disciples. A fruitful small group produces more small groups. A fruitful church produces more churches.
Our goal is not to grow our church bigger and bigger, like a tumor, but to reproduce. We began with a branch from a very healthy church in Birmingham. Once we are established, our goal is to reproduce again.
A Metro Church
Our small community groups extend our reach. Since our members come from all over Birmingham, we are beginning with the idea that we are not a neighborhood church. We are already a multi-site church!
People usually think of church as a place where they “settle down.” Research has indicated that the best predictor of whether someone is in church or not is if they are married and have kids. But what if, instead of a place to settle, church was a place where people “launch?” We hope to reach people who may have been turned off or burned by other churches and provide a launching pad for passionate people who want to be engaged in their community.
If you would like to see what Saint Junia is up to right now, please visit our website!
Proud to know you my friend. Purchased many copies of your book to share with others including ministers I know. God is on your side and show no partiality….your friend in Christ. Doug Marsh