Most small groups I see in churches are a waste of time because most of them are little more than data dumps. They are Bible studies that go nowhere other than gaining more knowledge of the Bible and in some cases fellowship. And those aren’t enough.

I’m convinced that in the  world we live in today that every small group has to have two components to be worth doing: leadership/discipleship and a missional thrust. People don’t come to the church anymore, so the church has to go to them. Preparing people to be sent into the world should be the primary purpose of small groups. But I find very few small group systems with such a purpose.

The churches I see that are making a difference in their part of the world are raising up their own leaders and church planters from within their membership. And they are doing it through both one-on-one mentoring and small groups that focus on sending people.

So why not train your small group leaders in the knowledge that Bible study and fellowship aren’t the goal of small groups? People can know the Bible and still not live out the faith. Fellowship for the sake of fellowship isn’t biblical. Instead, the goal is preparing people to be sent into their neighborhoods to share the good news with their networks.

Consider this: after spending time mentoring the leadership of each small group, have the groups take one night a month off to go into their neighborhoods to work on a missional project as a group. Do this as a regular part of your small group system. Then next week, talk about how it went and what their fears are about sharing their faith. This will help those introverts who are scared to share.

Question: How do you ensure that your small groups have a missional focus? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.