First, is the engaging of people in community for enhancement of spiritual journey through ministry in a group that is small enough for sharing and caring. I cherish my time in a small group in my own congregation. Small groups change lives and congregations!

And there are several subsets of the usual Small Group Ministry activities.
This process provides a minimal but consistent structure within which youth have time for discernment and for sharing, for developing leadership and relational skills, and for learning from others and realizing that they have so much to offer others.

Second, Small Group Ministry adds a relational dimension to groups that do not fully follow the guidelines for a Small Group Ministry or covenant group. For example, Small Group Ministry adds the ‘relational’ component to ‘religious education for lifespan faith development’. ‘Relational’ includes:

Third, Small Group Ministry is an effective tool for focusing on an issue or topic within the context of a larger educational program or meeting. For example, Small Group Ministry can be used in as part of Teacher Development or ongoing Religious Education Committee meetings. Taking time for a session on feeling safe and contributing to a safe environment brings the discussion around safe congregation policies to a depth beyond the requirements for ‘two adults with children or windows in doors’. Or focusing on gifts and giving and receiving enhances how people work together from their respective strengths, from religious education to committee work. Or discussing leading and following may change perceptions of dynamics and interactions.

But in all of these uses of Small Group Ministry, the underlying principles must be preserved:

Small Group Ministry is a dynamic process that enriches our lives, our congregations and out denomination at a variety of levels. We have not even begun to realize its impact on Unitarian Universalism.

Rev. Helen Zidowecki

All materials copyright © 2008-2018 by Helen Zidowecki unless otherwise noted. --- --- --- February 24, 2018 3:03 pm