Small Groups 401: Mid-Size Groups

Small Groups 401 is the creating of a group for groups.  With 20-50 in attendance, they’re too big to be called a small group, and too small/informal to be called a church by most standards.  Mid-Size Groups offer a unique blend in that they share dinner and an abbreviated teaching time with all participants, and then break into 4-6 different small group discussions for the personal touch.  With a strong mix of spiritual gifts and experienced leaders, Mid-Size Groups offer a level of care and community unfound in everyday small groups.  Mid-Size Group essentially function as house churches.

Small Groups 401 offer very solid outlets for in-house leadership development and multiplication, as well as the strong potential for planting churches.  Veteran small group leaders enjoy the challenge of taking on a Mid-Size Group – functioning like pastors of a small congregations, or a leader of leaders at the very least.  Apprenticing leaders have the optimal environment for developing in that they truly have their own group to lead, yet the presence of the point leader helps shoulder the responsibility and offer real-time coaching.  When it comes time to start a new small group, there’s no tearing or dividing because everyone still shares the same Mid-Size Group.   When it comes time to start a new Mid-Size Group, there is a thrill in that participants know they are starting a new church.  This may be one of the greatest opportunities for Mid-Size Groups: a growing, thriving, and multiplying Mid-Size Group can become a new church plant with very little start-up drama added. Churches looking to plant new churches would do well to invest in Mid-Size groups as the pre-curser and foundation. 

A number of issues complicate the matter for Mid-Size Groups.  It’s tough to find a home, or other venue, that can facilitate 20+ people.  Very few small group leaders express the interest, or the time it would take, to accept the challenge of upgrading to a pastor’s role and quadrupling their group size.  Although multiplying small groups under the same roof offers the ideal support network for developing leaders, much will be lost if new groups are never sent into new communities.


  1. What small groups do you know that would want to come together to make a group for groups?
  2. What advantages/disadvantages do you see to multiplying small groups under the same roof?
  3. Does the prospect of using your group to plant a church excite you?

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