Sermon Based Small Groups

Well, now  that I’ve finished my doctoral work, it’s time to blog on it some. When I came back from my last residency at Gordon-Conwell, I had no idea what I would write about. I had planned to write on a couple of other possibilities. But, they didn’t work out. I was either going to write on the preaching ministry of EK Bailey, or on the priority of prayer when preaching. For some reason, I got back on the plane without an approved doctoral proposal. SO, on the plane at 30,000 feet the Spirit spoke in a book I was reading: Simple Church by Thom Rainer. In the book, Rainer identified a Southern Baptist Church that used sermon-based small groups in its Sunday School model. It was then that I decided I would do a proposal on researching sermon-based small groups as a valid way to make disciples. 

communityI knew nothing of sermon-based small groups. Serious! Nothing. The topic intrigued me because I not only love hermeneutics and homiletics, but also making disciples. In the end, I learned so much. I became a better disciple and disciple maker. My view of ministry became more focused. I stopped relying on events and programs as the way to hide and not make disciples. I volunteered to teach a Sunday School class, which I didn’t have to do, and started a small group out  of the class. I know for sure I’m making disciples who will in turn be able to make disciples. The journey made me a better leader. 

I’m fully convinced sermon-based small groups are the best way to help believers grow in their faith. This is especially true in our busy, complex culture.

I’m going to begin a series of posts that will explain the journey I took and what I learned in the research. Who did I meet? Where did the sermon-based group start? Who is the Patriarch of the movement? Why are sermon-based groups better than other groups? 

Stay tuned. Let’s take the journey together. Are you making disciples?

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