Discipleship & Groups

Why Your Church Needs a Small Groups Coordinator

Whitney leaning against a railing on a downtown street
Photograph by Ben Duchac

What started as a way to bring people together has become one of the most effective ways for churches to grow their communities. Church small groups are a great way to form relationships and foster them over time. But how do churches foster small groups?

An often overlooked important position in any church is the person who manages the small group ministry. They coordinate events and ministries, look for ways to improve quality and function of groups and strive to strengthen relationships between members. This is no easy task—no part of a healthy Christian experience is isolated from another—but it can be managed through careful planning and oversight.

Cultivating Relationships

Church small groups are a great way to form relationships and foster them over time. Church small groups will provide the opportunity for you to develop deep roots within your church family. It allows you to grow spiritually, personally, emotionally, relationally, etc.

One of the main reasons why people want to be in a Church is because of the Church's ability to offer them community. Church small groups are one way of fostering that community by creating relationships within your church family. They offer the opportunity to be in an environment where you can experience encouragement, spiritual growth, service to others, accountability, etc. 

But how do churches foster small groups?

While many churches have small groups, very few have a dedicated staff position to oversee these groups. It is vital to have somebody who strives to make sure everyone has a connection with other members in their church through small groups. The job of this position is not an easy one—no part of a healthy Christian experience is isolated from another—but it can be managed through careful planning and oversight.

This is why a critical role in any church is the person who manages the small group ministry. This position coordinates all aspects of your church's small groups. They handle events and activities, recruit leaders & training sessions, coordinate help for leaders so they feel supported, recognize members for their participation in order to encourage them, and strive to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be a part of a group and have a meaningful experience.

Additionally, small group coordinators should also make themselves available to help group leaders host a variety of events and discussions. They should also be the first person to go to for advice on how to overcome issues that arise—learning from other small groups is vital in order to improve your own experience.

Lastly, coordinators are the liaison between the groups and the church pastors, staff, and leadership. This person can openly communicate with relevant parties about the progress of the groups and how the church might be able to support them better. 

Dedication is Key

Given the growing importance of a church's small groups ministry, it makes perfect sense to dedicate a staff member to oversee its growth. While churches can still form around this person, they need not do so in order for the ministry to be successful.

For instance, without a coordinator or someone with this responsibility, there is no way that members can provide feedback about your small groups experience—positive and negative. No one will be able to effectively organize retreats or minister to the leaders of small groups. You'll miss out on many opportunities to build relationships and your members will find it difficult to provide any feedback about their experience with, or without, a small group.

Small Groups Equals a Healthy Church

Small group coordinators have their place within the church's ministry. They are dedicated to overseeing all aspects of your church's small group experience and provide valuable feedback about how it can be improved. They help you form connections with other members, they assist in planning retreats, etc.

Focusing on the small groups ministry has shown to result in higher member retention rates, church growth, greater participation from your congregation, and ultimately, a much healthier church. And that's why a small groups coordinator is so important.