Best Practices of Sermon Based Small Group Churches

Senior Pastor First

What are the best practices found in churches that use sermon-based small groups? Here’s the first practice I found in interviews and research with churches that use the model.

In the churches that use the SBSG approach, the senior pastor is the key player. He was bought in to the process of making disciples in small groups and saw the significance of using the SBSG approach. Some churches in the surveys did say the senior pastor needed to have buy-in before a staff and church could move forward in the process of implementing a SBSG model. This buy-in avoids personality and control challenges among the church leadership.

In churches that use the SBSG approach, the senior pastor is involved personally in a small group. The pastor does not set up a program or an opportunity he does not take part in himself. The pastor’s personal participation gives credibility to the most important process in a church, disciple making.

In churches that use the SBSG approach, the senior pastor is involved in the discipleship of other leaders. There are times when the senior pastor is not the main leader of the SBSG leaders. Other executive pastor level leaders do lead the small group leaders. The best churches minister to the leaders consistently and closely so the small group leaders are healthy and can reproduce.

A good freind of mine, who is also a mentor, has told me for years that 90-95% of pastors are not in any kind of small group (Dr. Daryl Eldridge, www.rockbridgeseminary.com). I’ve found this to be true. Yet pastors expect people to grow in community. We wonder why the church today is so anemic? Maybe it’s becuase we have gotten so far away from “disciple-making” in leu of programs and events. Jesus selected 12 “that they might be with Him” so He could teach them to preach and cast our demons (Mark 3:13-15).

Pastors, are you making disciples? Could you list 12 you’ve invested in for 2 1/2 years like Jesus did the 12? Why not? Let me encourage you to invest in 12-14 for a year. Teach that group to reproduce itself. Your people will thank you for it.

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