Four Types of Small Groups

For Christmas 2010 my girlfriend Amelia gave me a book on small groups called Missional Small Groups. In one of the Chapters the author (Scott Boren) tells the story of four different small groups. Each one of these small groups represents various models that have been created for small groups. I thought it was very interesting and worth sharing. I would love it if I could get some feedback from ya’ll about what you think.

1-The Personal Improvement Smallgroup

  • We get together because life is tough in this world and we need a few friends. It is not always convenient for us to meet every week, but we do meet when we can. Usually we meet in short six or seven week periods or we meet a couple times in a month. We get together talk a bit about God or study the Bible, and share what is going on at work and in our family. I am not sure that we are close, but it is good to have a place where we can share a little about what is going on in our lives. Being in my small group has improved my life.

2-The Lifestyle Adjustment Group

  • This group has become a priority to us. We have adjusted our schedules to meet together at least every other week, but usually we meet weekly. In our meetings we either study the sermon preached by our pastor or use a Bible study guide that we all find personally beneficial. We truly enjoy each other’s presence and we put a high priority on the group and the members in the group. We even do something social once each month. We rise to the occasion when someone has a need and there is a sense that we are friends.

3-The Relational Revision Group

  • Our group has a weekly meeting but I’m not sure that you would call it a meeting in the formal sense of the word. When we get together it is the culmination of the rest of the week when we have bee in one another’s lives. It is a time of sharing what God has been doing, praying for each other, and talking about how God is using us in our normal lives. Yes we do have a weekly lesson, but the leader usually only asks one or two questions from it. The most important part of our group however is not the meeting; it is how we are connected the other six days. I have never been part of a group in which people are so willing to sacrifice time and energy for each other. And this connectedness actually spills out into our neighborhood. It seems like we are always interacting with, praying for, and serving people who live near us. And in some ways they are just as much part of our group as those of us who call ourselves Christians. Recently we had to wrestle with some relational conflict and hurt feelings. In the past I would have run away from such encounters but not this time. It was not easy but we pressed through. We are still learning what it means to be God’s family.

4-The Missional Group

  • We have developed a way of connecting with each other and God that has resulted in some rather unpredictable developments. 2 couples and a single person in our group live within walking distance of each other. So as a group we decided to adopt their neighborhood. We started with a block party. At first it was hard because no one knew us but after the first party we started becoming a presence in the community. Then one person started a summer children’s Bible study and as she got to know the neighbors and their needs we began to pray. Now we have come around a single mom who has 3 kids, and we include her as much as we can in the life of the small group. She has yet to fully understand who Jesus is, but we feel led to embrace her and her kids and see what God does in her life.


  1. Which one of these best describes the small group that you are in right now?
  2. Which one of these is the kind of small group that you aim for?
  3. What is keeping your small group from getting to that “level?”

I would love to hear your feedback or any other comments in general.

Missional Small Groups


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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