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tiny GROUPS exist to provide an intentional, personal setting for deep, discipleship relationships to flourish.
As our church continues to grow larger, we are equally committed to growing deeper.
We believe that tiny GROUPS are a powerful means of addressing our need/desire for companionship in the context of discipleship. We all know that it’s vastly different going through something with a companion versus on your own. Jesus, Himself, had an inner circle of support and companionship within his twelve apostles (Peter, James, and John). Note that St. Paul always had companions with him on his missionary journeys. This wasn’t accidental; there is immense power in companionship, especially when our companions are those who share the same goal and desire to live according to the same pattern.
The overarching purpose of tiny GROUPS is explicitly Christoformity – being incorporated into the life and identity of Christ, conformed to His image, formed together into His body for the sake of the world.
I’m in! Where do I start?
Frequently Asked Questions
To understand more about the way that tiny GROUPS work, click the expandable sections below.What exactly is a tiny GROUP?
Tiny Groups can take on a variety of forms (see below). But in their essence the goal is the same: to foster companions in the pursuit of Christoformity. The prototypical tiny GROUP has the following features. It consists of…
- three individuals of the same gender (triad) who relate as peers to one another
- who meet together regularly in the context of a commitment to one another
- and who desire to walk together for a particular season of life.
Other possible tiny GROUP variations:
Dyads (two people) or quadrads (four people) of the same gender.
- We strongly discourage more than 4 people in a tiny GROUP.
- With regard to gender, while there are many benefits to having men and women experience discipleship together (the rest of our church’s life transpires in a mixed gender setting), we believe there is power and freedom in providing at least one context in which men are discipled with/by men, and women are discipled with/by women.
For some, a tiny GROUP in the form of a mentorship might be preferable or more appropriate to that of a peer-based model. Mentors will be arranged from amongst folks who have walked with Christ for many years at the church or from among the staff/leadership. The precise meeting schedule / expectations of a mentor-style tiny GROUP will need to be determined case-by-case.
What are some key defining features of tiny GROUPS
Commitment is time-bound – you’re not committing to forever; just 5-6 months, which, of course, could be extended by mutual agreement of all the members. But there is a natural “sunset” built-in in order to allow people freedom to engage without a fear/concern of long-term obligation.
Flexibility – you determine together with your Tiny Group the precise rhythm of communication and meeting. We recommend meeting weekly in addition to interacting multiple times a week (text, calls, walks, etc.) for maximum impact.
Unapologetically Christ-focused – this is not merely friendship, this is companionship toward a very particular end: Christoformity
What do tiny GROUPS actually DO together?
Tiny Groups do these things (amongst others):
Tiny Groups seek to meet regularly (weekly or bi-weekly or as mutually agreed) to process the catechesis / provided material at a heart-level. In these meetings (by video or in-person), there will be a combination of personal sharing, listening, and praying for one another. The meetings don’t have to be long, but they should be intentional and meaningful for each participant.
Tiny Groups relationally connect with each other throughout the week as mutually desired – a social distance walk or picnic, texts and phone calls, emails, etc. Some groups will connect multiple times a week; others will connect less frequently. You determine the level of engagement you desire.
Tiny Groups engage in mutual confession of sin to each other (as willing and appropriate) – we will provide a simple liturgy of confession for you to use with each other. This is a powerful means of growing as a disciple. It is not required, merely strongly encouraged.
Tiny Groups commit to privately pray for one another. Whether you talk regularly or not, you should be committed to pray for your fellow Christoformity Companions.
Who is able to participate in a tiny GROUP?
Can I choose my own tiny GROUP members?
What does the Church provide in the way of support for tiny GROUPS?
Orientation – The staff provides an orientation to help shape expectations and steer tiny GROUPS in the right direction.
Coaching – Members of the staff are available to provide care to those who are struggling and/or make suggestions for making your tiny GROUP flourish.
Content – The staff provides an ongoing stream of content to shape conversations and practices within your tiny GROUP. You will need to adapt these resources and utilize them as you deem best within your context.
What makes a tiny GROUP work well?
Prioritized, shared commitment to each other – the vast majority of the time, if a Tiny Group is not working well, it is struggling on this point. If one or more of the members are flaky in their commitment to the others, or “too busy” or distracted with other commitments to engage deeply or regularly, or are difficult to schedule with, the group will inevitably suffer and may not even work at all. The precise expectations of the group should be mutually agreed upon prior to commitment.
Shared commitment to Christoformity – while not everyone will be at the same level of maturity in Christ, everyone should have the same shared commitment to desiring maturity in Christ. Issues arise when people do not share the same sense of accountability (for example) to the Bible or the Historic Christian faith. We are asking the groups to submit to the faith / practice as taught by Eucharist Church. Tiny Groups are not the context to bring in theological agendas; it’s the context in which we are humbly formed in the way of Christ.
Spontaneous interactions as well as planned meetings – Tiny Groups that flourish engage with each other throughout the week in simple interactions – be that text chains, phone calls, zoom calls, etc. These make the planned meetings much richer and deeper, because trust and rapport has already been established.
Emotional intelligence – being a good listener, being self-aware, knowing when to give space and when to engage more deeply, hearing what is being said between the lines, asking good questions, paying attention to non-verbal cues, and a host of other “soft” factors go a long way to developing safety and trust.
Trust and vulnerability – Taking the risk to share something personal, to confess sin, and to ask for support will often take a Tiny Group into a place of relational richness and depth.
How do tiny GROUPS relate to Table Groups?
See the diagram below…
How long am I committing to when I join a tiny GROUP?