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Small Groups Matter

 Jesus Was_JC

At churches all across the world, people are learning that bigger isn’t always better.  While there are a great many benefits of being a part of a large church; the benefits of becoming smaller are important. Small groups bring about real discipleship, life change, and spiritual growth. If you read this blog for any length of time you’ve heard me write about how-to lead small groups, how-to recruit leaders to lead small groups, how-to organize the details of small groups, and even pushed some  tips at you from the greatest small group leader of all time.

I love small groups, but over the past two years those small groups have taken on a special meaning. I’m a pastor and a leader of great leaders; but I’m primarily a husband and a father. It’s as the latter that I’ve seen the real impact of small groups.

I’ve watched as my wife has lead a group of boys from the 1st grade up through the 3rd grade.  I’ve seen her talk throughout the week of the conversations she’s had with those boys. As our lives have changed over the years, she’s has continued to have a big impact on the changing lives of those boys.  They matter to her, and because they matter to her; they matter to our family.

I’ve seen my sons and daughter relate their church experience much more to their small group leader, then they ever do to a large group skit or worship time. Those large group elements are A+ quality, but it’s the regular relationship they have with Ms. Amy, Mr. Geoffrey, and Mr. Alan that have impacted them the most.  My kids matter to those leaders, and because they matter to them; they matter to our family.

I believe in letting our children learn within the safety of a personal relationship with someone I trust. I believe college students, empty-nesters, and stay-at-home moms can have a profound impact on my family through the conversations they have in small group with my children. I believe I need influential people in my childrens life, and I believe those people should be someone I believe in.

Small groups matter to me as a NextGEN pastor, but they matter much more to me as a husband and father.


Image Source: Small Group Guy

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.