Sauce Ingredients

Great small group meetings don’t just happen. They take careful preparation and the right ingredients. Here are the the three most essential elements in the recipe:

1. The Real Presence of God: Simply put, a group cannot be awesome without an AWE of the presence of God in your midst. Recognizing God’s presence with you leads naturally to worship. And worship does not end after your opening prayer or singing. Your sharing, study, and strategizing all take place in God’s presence, for his purposes, and with his power. A Christian small group that does not worship is a paradox.

2. The All-In Presence of People Truly Seeking God: Call it community or fellowship or life together or what you wish, it is vital that group members are much more than merely group members; they must become, over time, friends and even family. As the current TV commercial puts it, they’re framily. When framily members gather together they are not merely in attendance, they are completely present with and for one another. They are fully there to give and receive support, encouragement, accountability, prayer, and ministry. All this is summed up by Jesus’ simple command: “Love one another.”

3. A Courageous Leader: The third ingredient, the leader, is vital for bringing the first two ingredients together to create a flavorful group meeting sauce. If we were to describe God as “sweet” and people as “bitter” or “sour,” we could then describe the leader as “umami” or “savory.” The leader’s job is simple: to bring the framily into the the real presence of God. To accomplish this, the leader must be a seeker of God and a shepherd of God’s people. By the way, a solo leader will not be effective or last very long in this role. he or she must share leadership responsibilities with other framily members.

These are not the only ingredients in the recipe of an awesome group, of course, but if you have these three, all the other ingredients will come in and blend in much more easily and naturally (see Matthew 6:33).

Is your group AWEsome? How do these three ingredients blend well in your group? 


More Posts to Read on this Topic:

Jesus’ Small Group Was a Dysfunctional Mess
10 Stupid Things That Are Keeping Your Small Group from Growing
The Missing Ingredient in American Churches and Groups
Learn How to Lead a Small Group Discussion from Jim Lehrer

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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