In order to improve congregational growth, thousands of churches in the United States have implemented small group ministries over the last several decades, but almost no statistical research has been done to determine what factors in small groups and churches foster group growth. This study involved surveying 1,140 small group leaders in 47 churches using factor analysis and multiple regression analysis to determine the factors that drive small group growth. Four small group factors showed a causal relationship to group growth: the prayer life of the group leader, an outreach focus, caring relationships between group members, and the empowering of group members in leadership and ministry. On the church level, three factors—an atmosphere of intercession, the active coaching of group leaders, and the equipping of members and leaders—promoted group growth by improving the four small group factors.
KeyWords: small groups, small group leaders, variables, factors, small group training
Confronted with an abundance of small group models, pastors and church leaders often find it challenging to understand the various alternatives and what the differences are between them. This article outlines the origins and distinctives of some of the most popular contemporary small group models to help readers better understand them so that they can develop the best approach for their own church.
KeyWords: small groups, cell groups, small group models