5 Values of a Thriving Small Group

GROW Groups are a semester based approach to small groups inspired by the ministry of Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas! If you wonder what a healthy GROW Group might do or look like, check out the Pioneer Memorial Church’s values summarized by Pastor Vatel further below with her added scriptural references

The PMC Pastoral Team calls them “values” or the groups’ DNA because they are a description of the behaviors they’d like to see replicated within the ministries of the church.  These values are based on the Book of Acts,Chapter 2.

Definitely check out Searcy and Kerrick’s work to understand the basic HoPE small group’s philosophy and make it your own.

PMC 5 GROW Group Values

Bible- (Acts 2:42)

The GROW group’s foundation is on biblical principles. Even if the focus is not on an actual bible study, a faith component is embedded as part of the group life. Let us know of creative ways you might include “Bible” within your group.

Examples of how you might incorporate the Bible value within your meeting: Devotional thought, Scripture memorization or sharing stories of faith before, during or after the group activity.

Evangelism- (Acts 2:47)

The GROW group exists for those not yet part of it. Groups are encouraged to have a symbolic empty chair as a reminder to welcome someone who is not part of our church community.

If the empty chair principle does not apply for a group meeting, the members may choose to invite guests at a social gathering that they would organize outside or instead of their regular group meeting time.

Service- (Acts 2:44-45)

GROW Group participants plan and implement a service project that they have agreed to do together to positively impact their local community. The project will be scheduled by group consensus before the end of the Semester.

Social- (Acts 2:46)

The GROW group participants will throw a “party” outside of the group’s meeting time. It doesn’t always have to involve a lot of food. Getting together is for becoming even better acquainted with each other after meeting several times, and most importantly, for having fun.

Prayer- (Acts 2:42-43)

No matter the activity or the study, time is set aside for sharing prayer requests or reports and intercessory prayer with a reminder to pray for each other in between group meetings.


Have you been part of a Small Group?  Is there a system that has worked better for your church than others? If so-how has the experience change you,your home,your church or your community? 

Fill in the Blanks Prayer

Ever heard of “popcorn prayers”?

That’s when someone begins the group prayer by introducing the theme and in no particular order, others add to it with one word. It goes fast or slow while coming from different parts of the room.

Using prayer prompts can help put everyone at ease about praying out loud or teach someone how to talk to God for the first time or could even be used as a guide for journaling.

Here is a variation of the popcorn prayer idea by Doug Kamstra 1. Give people time to reflect on each phrase and to respond out loud -or it might work best silently if the group is huge (hum…quiet popcorn?).

Either way, give instructions beforehand on which you want the group to do.

Open with a brief prayer, thanking God for the opportunity to pray together.
“God, I thank You for_________
God, I love You because_________
God, I celebrate You because________
God, I need Your_______
God, help me to be more_______
God,thank You for being________”
Close with a brief prayer.

Why not try it this week at your next HoPE meeting or family devotion? Go for out loud if with family and friends. Use this one or adapt your own as The Spirit leads.

Have a wonderful week!

How has using the “popcorn prayer” format helped your prayer meeting? Have you tried using this outline above? When? How has it contributed to your prayer life?