Sunday School or Small Groups

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Speedpass, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Speedpass

    Speedpass
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    In some churches my wife and I have visited, they seem to urge membership in small groups as a way to experience real Christian fellowship. Instead of having Sunday School on campus, they encourage members to be involved in greeting, parking lot assistance, etc. What are your thoughts on small groups--whether pro or con? One concern is that because of their emphasis on showing compassion to members, that would undermine the Pastor's responsibility for nurturing the flock.
     
  2. annsni

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    I don't understand how doing this can undermine the pastor's responsibility to nurture the flock.
     
  3. JonC

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    I attend a large church. Without small groups many aspects of what defines a church is neglected. This was not as much an issue when the church was smaller (although we were still encouraged to attend Sunday school – don’t really know when the name changed to “small group”).
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    We're a smaller church (100 or so attenders). We have both. But I think the small groups enhance rather than undermine my ability to nurture. Ephesians 4 talks about God giving pastors/teachers to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Small groups give people a chance to use their God given gifts. My job is to help them discover and display those gifts of ministry, mercy, teaching etc.
     
  5. JonC

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    It's also better, IMHO, to study in small group settings. I attend a small group after worship service. Much of the initial discussion is about what was covered in the sermon. I agree that they enhance rather than undermines the pastor.
     
  6. Gib

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    When and where do your small groups meet?
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    some at church during the week, some at homes. the ones at church
    usually involve child care.
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    e are a church of roughly 250, currently have 22 cell groups, and what we use them for is we have special sessions during church year we as an entire church take on a campaign, such as Rick warren book, not a fan series, the way of the master, etc! So all the members are taking and discussing same subject manner, usually every Fall, while rest of the year, each cellpretty much studies and discusses what they chosse to!
     
  9. webdog

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    Am I the only one uncomfortable with the word 'cell'? Sounds cultish or terroristic
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    IC so your saying the church is appointing various people to teach....is that correct?
     
  11. Jerome

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    The term "cell group" originated in the early 1900s with Marxists. The church borrowed it later:

    "In 1966, former Communist Douglas Hyde wrote an influential book Dedication and Leadership: Learning from the Communists, in which he urged Christians to adopt Communist cell group methods to recruit, inspire, and train new members." p. 265, Twisted Scriptures: Breaking Free from Churches That Abuse by Mary Alice Chrnalogar (Zondervan, 2000).
     
  12. quantumfaith

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    I think churches should offer both. Currently we do the "small group" thing. It is great for involving one another in each others lives and well being. It is great for "discussion", a slightly more informal experience. "Sunday School" is more designed for "educational" purposes. That is how I see it.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    So who teaches the kids?
     
  14. Herald

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    We have both an age-integrated Sunday School and fellowship groups that meet outside of worship. The teaching ministry of our church compliments our fellowship.
     
  15. ktn4eg

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    FWIW -- (from a lay person's perspective)

    The church of which I'm a member ( www.lighthouseministries.org ) has BOTH a Sunday School AND Small Groups---which we call our Life Groups. (The website has a link that goes into detail about our Life Groups.)

    We've gone through several changes over the past 10 years or so. The biggest change was merging with another congregation back in 2009 --- due largely to the fact that our pastor had health issues & also to his having felt the need to step aside from his pastoral duties to pursue more of a focus in various other areas of ministry to which he felt the Lord was calling him [ www.compassionatehope.org ].

    Our Life Groups meet together at various places (usually at a family's home) and at different evenings of the week. Each Life Group has its own personality, and no two of them operate exactly the same. EXAMPLE: My particular Life Group usually has prayers over the prayer requests presented at the beginning of the meeting followed by a Bible devotion led by a different man each week (w/ thoughts, comments, etc., following).

    I love my Life Group for so many different reasons.

    They rallied around me when I suffered a rather debilitating stroke in 2011; they ministered to a pastor & family who'd suffered much from another church in the area [FYI--He's now serving the Lord in the Rochester NY area]; they were one of the first groups to respond in many different ways when our Christian school facilities were severely damaged in May 2010; and I could go on and on.

    Our Life Groups aren't perfect :smilewinkgrin:--just made up of saved sinners doing life together, and with our Lord's help, being the hands and feet of Jesus for each other and for a lost and dying community around us. :thumbsup:
     
  16. annsni

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    That's why we changed from "cell groups" to "life groups". :)

    We have Sunday school for the kids through grade 6 and then they are in church on Sundays. Wednesday nights we have classes for the adults (could be Divorce Care, a class on a book of the Bible, a men's group (currently studying Men's Quest, I believe) and that kind of thing), youth group and Pioneer Girls and Boy's Brigade for the kids. Then we have the life groups on different nights of the week (sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly). It seems to work out pretty well for our families.
     
  17. SolaSaint

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    I'm more worried about the words "Rick Warren" it can be kinda cultish. Sorry dog, I just had to say it.

    Wasn't small groups invented by Warren? I've seen good and bad from them. Some of the small groups I was in when at a PD church met in homes and started using any materials they wanted, began drinking alcohol and really got out of hand with no accountability. And anyone was allowed to teach/lead.
     
  18. annsni

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    I don't think so. We started "cells" before we started at our church in '96. They were pretty well established when we got there. When did he write that book?
     
  19. Herald

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    Call them what you want but groups of Christians have been gathering for fellowship long before the 40 Days of Porpoises.
     
  20. annsni

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    They have????? ;)
     

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