Serendipity seminar and consulting director, Rick Howerton, identifies six primary types of small groups in his book, Destination Community. Clearly communicating a small group’s focus is vital to obtaining and retaining followers, organizing them, unifying them, and directing them to accomplish a God-given vision:
1. Disciples-making groups for believers wanting to develop spiritual disciplines and go deep.
2. Community groups for believers and non-believers, persons who want to build in-depth relationships with others.
3. Service groups for believers and non-believers who are serving alongside one another in ministry.
4. Seeker groups, usually led by believers for non-believers. These groups spend must time dealing with the issues non-believers are considering before converting to disciples of Christ.
5. Support groups for both believers and non-believers. These groups support attendees through personal difficulties.
6. Healing groups for believers and non-believers who come alongside one another to recognize and be released from the lies that Satan has imprinted on their hearts.
Potential small group members will always respond more positively to a clearly articulated vision. Using “group types” as a means of being clear and precise is a great way to gain the initial buy-in and enthusiasm that leads to effective participation.