Starting Small // A Guest Post by Ben Reed

StartingSmall_CoverIf you see small groups as a church growth strategy, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Trust me.

Small groups are more than that. Let’s not ask small groups to do what an event, or a mailer, or a concert, or a guest speaker, can do.

Small groups are the backbone God uses to fuel faith. They’re the system that churns out disciples. The engine that meets not because it’s always met so it has to meet to check off a box…but because it wants to.

That’s why I wrote Starting Small, to help individuals and churches start, and sustain, small groups for the long haul.

Because small groups are the place where

  • love is given.
  • truth is poked at.
  • safety is valued.
  • transparency is highlighted.
  • questions aren’t simply answered, they’re discussed. And argued. And debated.
  • people are loved for who they are.
  • coffee is served. (thank you Jesus, am I right? :))
  • communities are changed.
  • others are served.
  • light bulbs go off.
  • doctrines are tested. And lived out.
  • off-limit “stuff” is discussed.
  • faith is stretched.
  • hope is nurtured.

Small groups are the heart of the Church. Because without relational connections, the Church isn’t the Church. At best, without relationships, we are putting on a show. At worst, we’re wasting people’s time, energy, and resources. Our hearts must have relationships with people who want what’s best for us and who are headed in the direction we want to head spiritually.

What do you love about your small group?

If you’d like to read more about Ben’s book, and more of what Ben writes, you can visit his site,


This is a guest post by Ben Reed. 

Ben is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN area. In addition to pastoring, preaching, and writing, Ben has a great passion for coffee. Good coffee, that is. And CrossFit. But not at the same time. You can journey along with Ben at!

One Comment

  1. We loved that people could be “authentic,” and share their real stories & pains. And everyone would love them and show up next week. Nothing says love & community like hearing someone’s messed up junk, and no one gives up on each other.


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