Small groups

Criteria for the Development of a Small Group Model for the Second Baptist Church Of Macaé

Ivis Costa Fernandes D.Min.
Many churches live in search of the new model of ecclesiastical functioning that will lead them to the proper care of the flock and to growth. Some varied from one model to the next, in an endless search. Others have been frustrated and are disappointed with the possibility of healthy growth. This is the reality of many churches regarding small group models. What will help churches to develop healthy small groups is a comprehensive understanding of the topic, from some essential perspectives.

The objective of the research was to identify criteria that would guide the Second Baptist Church of Macaé to build a new model of small group ministry suited to its reality and needs. The literature review pointed to six hypotheses of guiding criteria. From in-depth interviews with eight pastors and church leaders with strong small-group ministries, the hypotheses were confirmed.

The research concludes with a proposal of procedure for the implementation of the ministry in the church, as well as suggestions of themes for future studies, which can help in the deepening of practical questions of the research.


John Michael Barefield D.Min.
This Doctor on Ministry project created a training program to train small group leaders to lead the emerging adults for Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Charlotte, North Carolina. This project shared the concerns of the church in losing emerging adults after they graduate from high school. The project explored the concerns of the emerging adult generation. The literature research included the writings of Chap Clark, Kara E. Powell, David Kinnaman, Corey Seemiller, Meghan Grace, Pew Research, and others.

This qualitative research project focused on how to train leaders to lead a small group of emerging adults. This project was conducted in three phases. The first phase presented in a six-part sermon series to the congregation. The second phase interviewed emerging adult participants. The third phase trained small group leaders to lead emerging adults.

This project helped the congregation, and small group leaders, to have a better understanding of emerging adults. The small group leaders gained confidence in leading emerging adults. The pastor learned to be sensitive to the needs, interests, and values of the emerging adults in his congregation.

An Evaluation of the Community Foundations Curriculum for Enhancing Interpersonal Relationships Among Church-Based Small Group Participants

Sten-Erik Armitage D.Min.
The purpose of this applied research project is to evaluate the Community Foundations curriculum in the context of the local church as a potential means to address the problems that emerge in the church through the foundation of the unscriptural societal value of individualism and the subsequent epidemic of loneliness. The project seeks to determine the overall effectiveness of the curriculum in three key areas: grounding the community in understanding the significance of what it is to be “in Christ,” providing opportunities for small groups to cultivate a desire to both know and be known within the context of a trusted community, and finally to cultivate an environment wherein a burden of care is embraced and felt within said community.

The research centers on qualitative interviews with participants in the Beta launch of the Community Foundations curriculum. The Beta launch occurred between Spring 2018 and Fall 2019. Three hypotheses geared around the key areas addressed above are presented and evaluated through the content of the recorded interviews.

The research results indicate deeper and more sustainable relationships were cultivated through these small group experiences as well as a new appreciation for the value of shared story in the context of community.

Study on activating Methodist class meeting and faith growth through "Bubu Sok-hoe" (married couple class meeting)

Dong Uk Cho
[In this project paper, the author examines how a church or ministry can] "develop effective methods [of inclusion] so that young adults' groups can participate in class meetings, actively serve small group missions, and grow their faith through 'Bubu-Sokhoe' (young adults and couple class meetings). 'Bubu-Sokhoe' carefully invites young couples based on their age, and whether or not they have children. Members are expected to feel comfortable, reach a consensus, and be ready to step into service and mission. This project focuses on the 'vitality of the small group', ways to encourage participation, and become responsible leaders through 'Bubu-Sokhoe.'" -- Leaf [2].

Developing a Small Group Evangelism Strategy for Emmanuel Korean Baptist Church, Sacramento, California

The purpose of this project is to develop a small group evangelism strategy at Emmanuel Korean Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, for Koreans. In order to make the project effective, I studied strategic planning methodology and existing small group evangelism strategies. Furthermore, I applied the existing strategies for small group evangelism to Emmanuel Korean Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, and newly designed the strategy to suit the nature of the environment and the region.

The project expects Emmanuel Korean Baptist Church to naturally restore the essence of the church and also grow into a healthy church by proposing the small group evangelism strategy. Not only that, but also emphasized the project's professionalism by applying guidance from professional evaluators to effectively reach the ministry's goal and professional goal. Finally, I plan to use the small group evangelism strategy to Emmanuel Korean Baptist Church after receiving the approval from the general meeting.

Effects of a Multifaceted Approach to Leadership Development on a Select Number of Potential

Byron C Fultz D.Min.
The thesis was to assess the effects of a multifaceted approach to leadership development, utilizing instruction, experience or observation, skills practice, and coaching/mentoring. Assessments before and after were administered, focusing on perceptions, understanding and receptivity to the prospect of lending or moving toward leadership utilizing a small group environment, the 12 week project explored core ideas in Biblical leadership, studies on Jesus' development of the Twelve, philosophy and approach to ministry & leadership, and character in leadership. Participants shared in the group experience, met individually with the researcher, took turns facilitating the group, and reflected on their experience in individual interviews following the study. Results of the project reflected appreciable progress in positive perception of leadership, in grasping the Biblical understanding of leadership, and in open-ness to the prospect of leading/moving into or toward leadership

Discipleship in a Disney Culture: The Effect of Christian Self-Denial on Perceived Delight in Jesus and Others

Joel Van Soelen D.Min.
The purpose of this project was to test the hypothesis that a six-week small group focused on
Christian self-denial, in loving God and others, would lead to an increase in perceived delight in
Jesus and others among members of Anaheim Christian Reformed Church in Anaheim, CA.
Self-denial is a key component in living as a disciple of Jesus. The research identified
consumerism as an obstacle. Self-denial in the writings of Augustine, John Calvin, and Timothy
Keller were researched. Small group participants learned about the role of self-denial in the
Christian life and completed assignments to help them grow in their relationship with God and
others through Christian self-denying practices. A mixed methods approached was utilized to
assess the effectiveness of the project. Quantitative data showed a significant increase in
happiness from pretest to post-test. Qualitative data evidenced a change in thinking in regards to
the positive nature of self-denial in the Christian life through journal entries and from pre-interview to post-interview responses. The conclusion of the project revealed the positive view of
Christian self-denial in discipleship, the vital nature of small groups, and the importance of
reflection to encourage delight Jesus and others.

The Effect of Preaching God's Mission in the Workplace

Joseph Warrington D.Min.
Thesis: A twelve week sermon series on God's mission would change the attitude (feeling) and practice (frequency) of mission in the workplace of members of Grace Church.
Research method: A mixed methods approach that utilized two open set surveys as well as participation in staggered focus groups, and interviews all designed to determine the defectiveness of the intervention.
The conclusion reached in the study conformed the intervention increased the participant's attitude (feelings) towards God's mission in the workplace. It also confirmed that the intervention increased the behavior (frequency) of the participant's in activities that promote God's mission in the workplace.


David Alan Shaffer D.Min.
This project seeks to answer the research question, “Does an eight-week, small group-based Bible study course for married couples strengthen the marriage relationships of its participants?” Today’s most effective marriage programs focus on important themes relevant to marriage and include transparency, a biblical foundation, and gentle accountability. Still, the question follows, “What comes next to further strengthen marriages?” This project answers this question with a process-based Bible study that, because of its design, strengthens the marriage relationship with improved communication, conflict resolution, and increased overall marital satisfaction (the three measures of this project). This methodology includes weekly individual study, couple discussion, and small group interaction.
Through the use of pre- and post-course surveys, the couples who participated in a study of Galatians provided ample quantitative research that yielded group, couples, and gender statistics. The couples’ data was measured by Positive Couple Agreement (PCA), which identifies couples’ responses as a relational strength when they choose the same response or are within one choice of each other (4 [agree] or 5 [strongly agree] on a positively worded statement, 2 [disagree] or 1 [strongly disagree] on a negatively worded statement).
The researcher designed Galatians: True Freedom – A Small Group Study for Couples to implement the new methodology to be evaluated. The quantitative data based on the pre- and post-course surveys provided the means to prove whether the three measures strengthened the marriages of the participating couples. The data supports the veracity of all three hypotheses (improved communication, improved conflict resolution, and increased overall marital satisfaction), showing strong growth in each measure, most notably with communication. These results led to the research conclusion: Yes, the methodology used in this eight-week, small group-based Bible study course for married couples developed for this applied research project did strengthen the marriage relationships of its participants.

Practicing faith together : Messy Church and disciple formation

Johannah G. Myers
How can the foundation of Messy Church be used to create discipleship groups where all ages practice faith together at Aldersgate United Methodist Church? In order to make disciples, churches must create space for all ages to apprentice faith together. The author engaged educational theories and Jesus' own example, specifically researching apprenticeship as a model for learning faith. The author developed intergenerational small groups using the values and model of Messy Church. The project suggests that Messy Church provides a solid foundation for creating space for all ages to practice faith together.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]
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