Why we’re changing our small groups structure for college ministry

We’re starting a new season in college ministry here at Grace, one that I’m extraordinarily excited about.  Rather than having one central midweek college group that I lead, we’re de-centralizing and having three smaller groups.  Each of these will be led by volunteers, and I’ll be coaching the leaders.

Each group will have between 6-8 people, last for 15 weeks, and have an action component to it (meaning you’ll serve together as Jesus’ hands and feet somewhere in the Seal Beach/Long Beach area).

Here are the reasons we’re doing it this way:

1. Scheduling – College students around here are having to take whatever classes they can get into because the state schools are so impacted.  It’s not feasible to expect everyone to keep Wednesday evening free, but they can look at their schedule and find a small group they can fit into their schedule.

2. More leaders, more connections – Some students love my teaching style.  Some don’t.  Now, students can connect with a variety of leaders.

3. Diffused ministry – Remember the old line about church being like a football game – 22 guys who desperately need rest and 80,000 fans who desperately need exercise?  That’s how I was starting to feel. This gives lay and student leaders a chance to really step out and do something that is challenging and meaningful.  Personally, Coaching small group leaders might turn out to be more “work,” but it’s exciting for me.

4. Group dynamics and ceilings – We kept bumping up against the 15 person ceiling of a small group, and couldn’t turn the corner.  With multiple small groups, we can stay small while reaching more students.

That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.  And don’t worry, college students, you’ll still get stuck listening to me at the Bridge!

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