I just finished reading "Biblical Counseling and the Church." Here's a little insight for you. 

Small groups cannot do everything, but they can do a few things really well. Don’t just put some chairs in a circle and invite people over. A small group ministry should directly align with the larger ministry of the church.

If spiritual formation is the purpose of the church, then personal transformation in community with other believers is the purpose of small group ministry. Bible study is great. Fellowship is wonderful. Evangelism is essential. But changing and growing to be more like Christ is the purpose of a small group ministry. People do not drift naturally toward transformation; they retreat toward information. That’s why you can attend a Bible study and still not experience transformation. Retaining information is “safe” — less intrusive and not as messy.

What Happens In Your Small Groups?

We have seen God use small group ministry to transform His people as the group spends time applying the Word of God to each member’s life. Sometimes this can also be a theological book based on the Scriptures. Some of you might say, “But aren’t most churches and small groups focused on this already?”

We don’t think so. Most Bible studies are really focused on acquiring knowledge with limited, and often private, application. Read more...