Today, I want to talk to you about the five relational spheres of a healthy church. As your church grows, the more attention you have to give to developing smaller, relational experiences within the church. So, let’s take a look.
The first sphere is, of course, your whole church. You all gather together on a weekly basis for corporate worship, for prayer and teaching. And while this gathering is super important, you must emphasize and provide next steps for people to grow in the context of relationship. And that’s where sub-congregations are formed.
Sub-congregation groups range in size from 20 to 100 people depending on the size of your church. And they are really organized for fellowship and affinity, or sometimes around a specific mission or ministry. But again, they provide that next step for relationship building which is a key to making something really large begin to feel small.
The third sphere is small groups or Sunday School classes. These groups are made up of about 5 to 12 people, and they focus on relationships in the context of building biblical community. Groups regularly gather together to study and apply God’s Word, they care for one another, and they meet specific needs within the group. This is a great way for the congregation to begin to care for one another and really feel like a community and more like a family.
The next group is called a team. Teams also consist of about 5 to 12 people. They are organized to accomplish a specific task within a ministry area. This task is often service-focused and these may be small group leaders, ushers, or kids ministry teachers, but it is another way of building community within your church.
The final group is one-to-one or, perhaps, 1 to 3. They meet in the context of that triad or that one-on-one relationship for development. These relationships are focused on spiritual growth or equipping someone for ministry leadership. It may be called mentoring or apprenticeship, but about 90% of effective multiplication happens at this level and in this context. It occurs in the context of a relationship.
Now that you understand the five relational spheres of a healthy church, think about your church and what you are going to do about it.