Small Study Groups in Churches

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  • Topic: Christian Church, Churches of Christ, Sunday school
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  • Published : April 22, 2013
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Small Groups Established Churches:
Challenge and Hope for
The Future
Small Groups and Established Churches
Challenge and Hope for the Future

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John W. Ellas is director of the Center for Church Growth in Houston, Texas, which helps churches to learn and apply effective methods for spiritual and numerical growth. For the past twenty years John has helped congregations through church training services, books, and a quarterly magazine. The American Society for Church Growth recently presented John the Donald A. McGavran Award for outstanding leadership in church growth. John holds the D.Min. and certification as a Church Growth Consultant from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California; the M.S. in Education from Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia; and the M.A. in Religion from Harding Graduate School of Religion, Memphis Tennessee. He has taught at Jacksonville State University, Texas A & M University, and currently serves as an adjunct instructor with Harding Graduate School of Religion. Small Groups and Established Churches

Challenge and Hope for the Future
John W. Ellas
Center for Church Growth P.O. Box 691006 Houston, Texas 77269-1006 Copyright © 2005 John W. Ellas
AU rights reserved. No part of this publication may be repro- duced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy- ing, recording, or any other—without the prior permission of the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews. First Edition, 2005 Printed in the United States of America

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version (North American Edition), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. Cover design by Larry Headley

ISBN: 0-9642447-3-X
Contents Forewordix
Introduction1
ChapterOne: TheMakingofaSmallGroup Movement7 A Third World Catalyst7 Built Sunday School Tough in America9 Emerging Home Groups in U.S. Churches12 Internal and External Influences13 New Hope Community Church14 Willow Creek Community Church16 Saddleback Community Church17 A Maturing American Movement18 Secular Society Influenced20 Personal Pilgrimage21 Important Questions23 Chapter Two: Biblical Community27

iv
Parameters for Evaluation Nature of the Church Purposes and Functions Community Function Physical Structures Phase One Phase Two Phase Three
Community Structures Concluding Assessment
27 30 31 33 34 35 36 37 37
41
V
Chapter Three: Group Dynamics and Cultural Clash
Ministry Infrastructure Large Groups
Middle-size Groups
Small Groups Early House Church Cultural Clash
Chapter Four: Group Types and Church Models Group Typology
Types The Agenda Connection Typology Value
Church Models Three Systems Approach Six Church Models Value of Church Models Church Model Caveat
Chapter Five: Small Groups and Ministry Goals Reaching Goals Spiritual Formation Goal Secular Society and Spiritual Culture VIM for Christian Spiritual Growth Small Groups and Spiritual Formation Local Evangelism Goal Core Values and Home Groups Evangelism in Home Groups 47

48 49 52 54
55 57
65
66 67 72 76 77
78 80 8 5 86
91
92 95 95 97
103 107 108
113
Chapter Six: Leadership and the Future of Small Groups121 Troubleshooting122 Uncovering the Problems124 The Root of the Problems126 Compartmentalized Leadership128 Self-directed Ministry132 Challenge and Hope136 A Bright Future137 Ministry Leaders137 Elders and Evangelists142 Group Leaders and Members144

Conclusion
149
vu
Foreword
SmallGroups and Established Churches is a book writ- ten for Christians who believe that God has commissioned us to make disciples for Jesus Christ. The task involves finding receptive souls, guiding them into a covenant relationship with Jesus, helping them find an avenue of service and belonging in the church, and encouraging them toward matu- rity in...
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