Small Group FAQ

Thank you for your interest in Small Groups!

Below are answers to many common questions. If you have a different question or would like more clarification, please contact Pastor Rob at roberts@stpaulfalls.com or (920) 467-6449 ext 113

First, know that we offer Small Groups on various days and various times; take a look at your schedule – is there anything that can be rearranged a bit to make time for a Small Group? Second, we offer Small Groups that meet with various frequencies – weekly, every-other-week, and even monthly; perhaps you could join a Group that meets less frequently. We strongly encourage you to join a Group, even if it means missing out on something else in life, because we believe that it will be incredibly beneficial for your faith and relationship with Christ, and when it comes down to it, that is really the only thing that truly matters – faith is the only thing that receives the one thing that transcends this life: the eternity in paradise God offers us through his Son.

In short: no. If you’re hesitant about joining a Group, we would encourage you to just try it out. Sign up for a Group and attend a few meetings to see what you think. We believe that you will not only find it beneficial for your faith, but that you’ll also enjoy the experience and want to stay on long-term.

Their length varies depending on the Group. The minimum time that Groups tend to meet for is about an hour-and-a-half. Many go for two hours. Some go even longer. Try to find a length that suits you!

Small Group meetings can vary depending on the Group. Most of the time, however, they begin with some informal conversation time; often snacks are provided during this time. After that, the Group usually comes together more intentionally with an ice breaker. After that, most Groups will spend 30-60 minutes in Bible study; don’t expect a lecture but rather a discussion about God’s Word and how it applies to your life. Finally, most Groups end with a time of prayer for individuals, for the Group, and for the community. Sometimes, there is more informal conversation time at the end.

First, we would just like to thank you for trying out a Small Group! You should know that you’ll almost certainly encounter some really great people who care very much for you. Our leaders have been trained to be welcoming and to make sure new members feel comfortable. You should also know that God will be present and will be working through your Group to grow faith! Finally, we ask that you go in with an open mind; a Small Group may not be what you’re expecting it to be, but it will be beneficial for you and your faith!

Absolutely! Our leaders are trained to be welcoming and to help you fit in. Additionally, there is no pressure to participate. Take as much time as you need to get comfortable with your Group!

First, we apologize that you don’t feel like you fit in. If you feel like the Group is closed off and not very welcoming, we encourage you to contact Pastor Rob (920-467-6449 or roberts@stpaulfalls.com). We sincerely want all of our Groups to be welcoming and would appreciate the feedback that some might have forgotten to be. However, if you feel that you just weren’t a very good fit for that Group, we encourage you to sign up for a different Group and give that a try. You can see a list of our Groups here.

Jesus operated in a Small Group – he served as the leader of twelve disciples. The early church operated in Small Groups; they didn’t meet in large buildings but rather as smaller communities in member’s houses. Some other verses that support Small Groups are: Proverbs 27:17, Matthew 18:20, 1 Thessalonians 2:8, 2 Timothy 2:2, Hebrews 10:24-25, and James 5:16.

Small Groups are designed to meet three specific needs that all people have. They provide: a community of believers to encourage, strengthen, and hold you accountable to your faith, a chance to deepen your knowledge of God and how he wants you to live, and an opportunity to do evangelism.

Prayer is very important for Small Groups – it’s such a privilege and joy to be able to talk to God! All Small Groups will pray, and while it might look different for each Group, most have some things in common. Generally, at the end of the meeting, Small Groups will go around the room and ask for prayer requests. At that time the leader will pray for the specific requests and will ask if anyone else would like to pray. The leader will also send out a list of the prayer requests and encourage the Group members to all be praying for each other throughout the week.

Yes. Small Group leaders are trained to keep confidential things said to them in confidence. The only exception is that if you tell them that you are intending to harm yourself or others; in this case, he or she is obligated to alert the proper authorities.

Community is a very important part of Small Groups, and each Group will work hard to facilitate deep, meaningful relationships among the Group members. This is done through informal conversation time and icebreakers during the regular Small Group meeting. Small Groups are also encouraged to meet outside of their regularly scheduled time specifically to foster community. This will look different for each Group depended on the activities your Group enjoys doing.

If we don’t have a Group offering during the time that you have free to participate in a Group, we would encourage you to contact Pastor Rob (920-467-6449 or roberts@stpaulfalls.com). He will do his best to work with you to start a new Group at the time that would work for you.

Our Small Group leaders are encouraged to have food and beverages present at their Small Group meetings, but it isn’t guaranteed that they will. Some Groups will have snacks, others may provide a full meal, and still others may not offer anything to eat or drink at all. If you would like to know before you attend your first meeting, we would encourage you to contact your specific leader to ask them.

Small Groups can study anything as long as it relates to the Bible and to our Christian faith. Specifically, Small Groups are encouraged to do studies that apply to the lives of their members. Small Group studies are also more discussion based than they are teachings or lectures. If there is something that you’re interested in studying, we would encourage you to talk to your Small Group leader.

Small Groups provide an excellent environment in which evangelism can flourish. First, all members are encouraged to invite others into the Group; it’s often less intimidating to join a Small Group meeting than it is to come to church. Second, Small Groups provide the opportunity to do evangelism together with other Christians. Finally, Small Groups may even practice doing evangelism together or study it in their Bible study time.

Small Groups are a place where you can feel comfortable being your real self and sharing both your struggles and your victories without fear of being judged or ridiculed. Your Group members are there to support and encourage you and hold you accountable to your faith, not judge you, gossip about you, or put you down.

Yes, we strongly encourage you to still join a Small Group. Groups offer something different than large group church gatherings do. They offer a greater opportunity to make Christian friends who will encourage you and hold you accountable to your faith. They also offer an opportunity to ask questions and deepen your faith in a different way. Finally, the focus of a Small Group is on the application of God’s Word to your life, and they are able to do so more pointedly and personally than the large group church gathering..

Yes, we strongly encourage you to still come to church regularly. Large group church gatherings offer something different than Small Groups do. First, God’s Word is presented in a different way – sermons do more teaching than Small Group studies do. Second, church gatherings offer the sacrament of Holy Communion – there is no substitute for receiving Christ’s body and blood for the forgiveness of your sins. Third, church offers you the opportunity to sing and to praise God together with other believers. Fourth, church connects you to an even larger body of believers.

Yes! Small Groups are encouraged to regularly serve in their community and/or church. As you serve together as a Group you’ll have opportunities to share Christ’s love with those around you.

When Small Groups grow to more than fifteen members, they begin to lose the benefits of being ‘small.’ At this point, Groups should multiply – one Group will become two Groups. This process allows Small Groups to continue to grow and connect more people to Christ!