If your church hasn’t already established a strong small groups ministry, it’s probably too soon to launch Redemption Groups.
Redemption Groups are designed to catalyze redemptive community, not to stand alone as the primary vehicle for it, nor to compete as an alternative. If your church is small and still establishing a culture of redemptive community, we’d encourage you to focus on training, equipping and casting vision for the small group leaders and the community as a whole, with the objective of strengthening your existing small groups.
We’re looking for two fruits to come from this strategy:
- Some members of your community, such as some of the small group leaders, will surface as likely candidates for Redemption Group leadership. You’ll notice that they are particularly gifted for counseling ministries.
- When small groups are healthy and thriving, they will reproduce leaders, which will allow those who are particularly gifted for counseling ministries to focus their leadership contributions on Redemption Groups.
Otherwise, you run two risks:
- Redemption Groups could take over as the normal mode of redemptive community in the church, which could ultimately weaken the vitality and vision of your small groups.
- You could siphon off your strongest small group leaders, redirecting them to Redemption Group leadership before they’ve sufficiently reproduced themselves.
Waiting to launch Redemption Groups doesn’t mean you wait to introduce deep, redemptive conversations to your community. It may just mean you plant the seed in your existing small groups, cultivate it there, and then look to launch your Redemption Groups out of the fruit that this bears.