Starting Small Groups

Small groups that create a loving, safe and supportive relationships that help each other grow in their daily faith have a huge impact on the life of the individuals, the wider church and those beyond it.

If you are thinking about starting small groups like this, it may be that there are already groups that with a shift in perspective or practice can become these very groups. 

If you are wanting to start new groups there are lots of ways to do it. Below are three general ideas to start you thinking. They have all worked well in other churches, but it is important to consider your own church context and what will work for you. Each one has suggested steps, but any church will need to adapt them for their needs.

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Ideas to help you think through how fellowship, faith and outreach will shape your groups. And a starting point to support creating expectations for leaders and members.


Starting with one, simply means start by setting up one group. This gives the group time to establish, to see the impact it has on their own lives and to encourage others by sharing their experiences with the wider church.

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Adapt a regular course (E.g. Lent or Advent) by meeting in a small group setting with a small group structure but using the same material. People are used to setting that time aside each year and this allows them to experience a small group before committing.

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You’re running an Alpha, a parenting course or a regular course. You want to run it as a large group but to have opportunities for people to follow on in smaller more personal groups afterwards.