New Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life resources support Building an Intentional Small Group Ministry
The Episcopal Church continues to offer new resources for congregations interested in following the Way of Love as a way of life by starting small group ministries. New resources include the Building an Intentional Small Group Ministry information packet, an infographic, video compilations, and social media graphics. These resources are available in English here, Spanish here and French here.
Inspired by the foundation laid by Arlin J. Rothauge’s work and booklet, Making Small Groups Effective, the Building Intentional Small Groups information packet can help congregations answer the questions of why, what, when, and how of Small Group Ministry. Written and curated by formation and evangelism leaders across the church, the packet is an instructional tool to help churches as they begin or re-start an intentional faith-based small group ministry. This is not a curriculum, but instead a tool to help adapt existing curricula and other formation resources for a small group context.
In addition, the Building Intentional Small Groups videos are designed to be a source of encouragement and inspiration for those looking to start or re-start an intentional faith-based small group ministry. Small group leaders and participants from across the Anglican Communion, lay and clergy, gathered to record these videos. The videos can be shared digitally through social media, or congregations may choose to include them in their Sunday morning worship if they are launching a small group ministry, or during a virtual coffee hour as a conversation starter. The Small Group FAQ's video, released in 2019, is another resource for congregations to use in support of this ministry.
"There is no better way to grow and practice the Jesus Way than in our homes, in our day-to-day lives, with a circle of followers who love and mentor one another as apprentices in the Jesus Way,” says the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, canon to the Presiding Bishop for evangelism, stewardship, and creation care, “Particularly in this present moment, when pandemic has stripped away the trappings that usually surround church, small discipleship groups and neighborhood circles may be the most practical way for us to walk the path to love, freedom, and abundant life that Jesus laid out.”
Jerusalem Greer, Episcopal Church staff officer for evangelism, adds, "Starting a small group ministry doesn't have to be overwhelming if you start with the basics – gather, share, reflect, and pray – and all of these things are outlined in the packet and in the infographic. The purpose of a faith-based small group is to build relationships with God and one another. When we meet each other in less formal, honest, and compassionate conversation, we learn how to love better. And this love is what will bring us into loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with God, each other, and our own truest selves. Small groups are a wonderful way to invite both those outside your church walls and those new to your church into community. They are a low-risk, high-impact opportunity to seek, name, and celebrate what Jesus is doing in our lives and in the lives of people around us."
For more information and resources visit iam.ec/smallgroups or email email@example.com