Small groups are started and sponsored, typically, by churches.
But, these church groups can become hybrid gatherings of folks from other churches, unchurched neighbors, and those in a season of “dechurching.”
This is to be celebrated!
Small groups that are alive with the Holy Spirit will transcend institutional boundaries. Who wouldn’t be drawn to such a welcoming place, where the best practices of Christianity are experienced –acceptance, tough questions of faith, reverence for The Word, prayer, care, testimony, faithful presence?
Freed from the burdens of institutional upkeep, the small group can be, “all people, no steeple.”
The challenge for the sponsoring church is to continue to provide support. Can pastors and elders give these hybrid groups the same study resources, leadership training, affirmation and supervision as groups that are “church” groups?
What would the Great Commission require?