In reading a lot of Small Group books, blogs and tweets, I have felt compelled to voice my perspective of community life and what Small Groups are accomplishing.  We have a lot of Sunday School history in our church.  Their nature is to take attendance weekly. We use ChurchTeams (web-based Small Group Software) to track SG activity (not just attendance).   I’ve noticed the practice of taking attendance has carried over to our current culture of Small Groups, both on-campus and off-campus.  Weekly reports from groups come in with the box checked “we did not meet”. They only report attendance if they conduct a pre-planned Bible Study.

I hear stories from our coaches about Small Groups who submitted “we did not meet” who are doing life together weekly. One group did not report meeting for four weeks. So I checked with their Coach to see if there were problems. “Oh, they have had three group members who bought homes or moved to apartments in the last month.  They have helped them move for the last several weeks.” Another group report kept showing no activity and I discovered from their Coach that this group partnered with our city officials to sponsor the Christmas shopping and the delivery of Christmas gifts to boys and girls. They had worked almost daily for two weeks to organize this effort. Yet, they stated, “we did not meet”. Then there were more of the “we did not meet” groups that invited unchurched friends, had supper together, then attended LifePoint’s Christmas Musical. These leaders did not understand that we want to hear about life, not attendance. Attending the musical would constitute a meeting in my book. Life-change can happen as we live out the Bible, not just during the time we are in a studying it.

Sharing and hearing the stories of God working in your group is more important than just knowing who showed up for the Bible Study meeting. We hope to produce a culture that looks for God to be active in all our activity and are working to help groups to journal these activities of God. For LifePoint, one way that happens is through a web-based sotware called, Church Teams. These weekly reports are a great way to journal and share about God’s activity in your group as He guides you to live out His Word.

Bible study is important and expected, but please share your stories of other activities, events or service projects that your group is doing.  Share your group story via Church Team Reports, Small Group Leader Luncheons, emailing your Coach, and telling a friend.