- Small groups have 3-12 members that meet regularly for fellowship, encouragement, discussion, and spiritual growth.
- They are the mainstay of the EC Ministry Model.
- While some are responding to the Gospel with conversion, others are being strengthened in their interior life, and still others are learning invaluable pastoral skills as group facilitators.
- Small Groups date back to the earliest Christians communities.
- In recent years, the Church has witnessed a renewed appreciation for the values and vitality that Small Groups foster.
“One way of renewing parishes, especially urgent for parishes in large cities, might be to consider the parish as a community of communities and movements…to form ecclesial communities and groups of a size that allows for true human relationships…. In such a human context it will be easier to gather to hear the word of God, to reflect on the range of human problems in the light of this word and gradually to make responsible decisions inspired by the all-embracing love of Christ” (Pope John Paul II The Church in America, January 22, 1999).
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Making a Difference: Harvard Catholic Student Center
“When I came to Harvard, I worked with the priest assigned to undergraduate ministries and a faculty person with small group experience. We had fourteen students in formation for small group leadership. The following fall we launched seven small groups, most of which worked very well, and one which worked fabulously because of the quality of the two leaders running the group. Most important, the small group reflection started changing the character of the student group. The spiritual life became more important than the social functions. The quality of the students’ interactions changed. Interest in what the life of faith really means flourished. Once again, I was astounded at how quickly the Holy Spirit can work when given the opportunity. EC provides exactly that, the opportunity for God to work among His people” (Faye Darnall, Harvard Chaplain, 2008).
What Does a Small Group Look Like?
The mainstay of EC Ministry, Small Groups have 3-12 members that meet regularly for fellowship, discussion, and spiritual growth.