Church leaders, based on my observations here are the eight most common small group models currently being used by churches along with one of the predominant books describing each model:
1) Semester-based Group Models (2 or 3 semesters per year)
– Curriculum selected by Individual Groups . . . Activate by Nelson Searcy
– Sermon-based Groups . . . Sticky Church by Larry Osborne
– Free Market Small Group Model . . . Dog Training, Fly Fishing, and Sharing Christ in the 21st Century by Haggard
2) On-going Open Group Model … Small Groups Big Impact by Jim Egli & Dwight Marable
3) On-going “Closed” Group Model* … Creating Community by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits
4) Missional Small Group Model . . . Community: Taking Your Small Group off Life Support by Brad House & Launching Missional Groups: a field guide by Michael Breen and Alex Absalom
5) 40-day Campaign Model . . . Small Groups on Purpose by Steve Gladden
7) Cell-based Group Model . . . Biblical Foundations for the Cell-based Church by Joel Comiskey
8) Disciple’s Making Disciple’s Group Model . . . Real-Life Discipleship Training Manual by Putnam, Willis, Guindon, & Krause
*North Point’s groups meet for 18 to 24-months and then multiply. To encourage increased transparency group members request “permission” from group members before bringing a guest. Though labeled a “closed” model it operates more like a “gated” model.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Maybe you’d recommend an additional group model or book for the list.