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Ministries

Small Groups

Small Groups have been recognized as an important aspect of the mission and ministry life of First Baptist Church. As an active participant of First Baptist Church, this is truly one of the best ways of participating fully in the life of the church.

Types of Groups

We have a diverse small group program. There is not one standard type of group that everyone joins forever. Instead, a variety of house groups and mission groups are possible in our setting: An Enquirer’s Group (a basic introduction to the Christian Faith), Home Groups, Women’s Groups, Men’s Groups, Prayer Groups, Age defined groups, Missions Support Groups, and specific Task Groups.

How to get into a group

Are you interested in becoming involved in one of our many Small Groups? Here's how:

  • Fill out a Visitors Card located in the church pews and indicate that you would like to become a member of a small group.
  • Call Pastor Andy or the Church Office at (403) 556-3219 to find out more information about the small groups at First Baptist church.
  • Start a small group (if you need ideas or help, contact Pastor Andy or one of the existing Small Group Leaders).
  • Ask someone in a current group if and when they are accepting new members. Watch for notices in the church bulletin, bulletin boards about new groups forming and beginning.

How to get new members for your group

Have your members invite friends who are not in a group to a party, BBQ, or Potluck Dinner, Do some “Door Knocking” and give each household a written invitation in your immediate area, Meet new people at social events, informal coffee get-togethers or orientation meetings, Submit a group description (goals, activities, objectives, and group membership profile) to Pastor Norm so he can help recruit for you. Self-recruitment is the best way to get members that best fit your group.

Structure of the Group Program

Pastor Andy will occasionally meet leaders and facilitators of the groups for planning and idea-sharing. Every group needs a recognized facilitator with specific, easily learned skills to serve its members. One of the best places to discover new designated leaders is in existing groups. An organically growing group program will have existing groups giving birth to daughter groups. In other words, a portion of the members (including a new leader) with a new vision should be budded off every couple of years.

The designated leader in a group should not be the sole leader. We believe at First Baptist Church that the same kind of participation observed in Sunday worship should permeate the whole life of the church. Hence the ideal is leadership by the whole group – every member shaping goals, expressing their gifts, helping with tasks. Thus the designated leader does not dominate, nor collapse under an unreasonable burden, but simply serves in specific ways (which may or may not include leading Bible studies).

Participation

We strongly recommend taking longer than usual at the beginning of each quarterly when you re-evaluate your group life in order to establish clear goals and activities for your next months get-together. This is especially important for new participants, or when a group is forming for the first time, so that everyone can make an informed decision about joining.

The group must establish whether it is an open group (the majority of the group), able to invite newcomers to any meeting, or a closed group, whose membership remains constant for the duration of a specified period. The ideal size of a group is from 4 – 12 people. If the group is larger than 12, you may want to consider splitting into 2 separate groups or breaking into smaller groups within one larger group. The group should meet together weekly or within time frames prescribed by the group itself.

Balanced Group Life

Every group, no matter what its age, depth or mandate, should have some balance of various components such as the following:

Fellowship

Encouraging friendship, confidentiality, self-disclosure, and accountability. May include refreshments or even meals together, social events, practical helps, etc.

 
Worship

Particularly in music, song, praise/prayer, and use of spiritual gifts. Try appointing a worship leader.

 
Bible Study

Sometimes based on the integrated curriculum that studies the passage to be taught on Sunday morning, or a topical study, a devotional book study, a Biblical biographical study, or a Biblical Book or letter expositional study.

 
Prayer

for personal, church and community needs.

 
Outreach

looking beyond the group to share the message of Christ with friends, co-workers, family, etc. Taking advantage of outreach opportunities at First Baptist Church, helping with a specific or special need, adopting one of our missionaries, adopting one of our college students, taking on a hospital chapel program, hospice, visitation or care program. Perhaps you might consider organizing an occasional project such as Samaritans Purse or social justice, cooking at the Mustard Seed in Calgary. If the outside focus becomes regular and substantial then you may be fairly called a missions group.