On this week’s episode, Brian and Chris join David Francis. A prolific author of eleven books, David Francis has been at Lifeway for about twenty years. David currently serves as the Director of Sunday School in the Group Ministry department at Lifeway.
Brian, Chris, and David discuss the ongoing debate: should small groups be on campus, or off? David affirms the fission of both, “‘Sunday schools’ and ‘small groups’ aren’t at odds with one another.” There is no one “right way” to meet with a small group; rather, the location and time of the group is dependent upon the spiritual needs of your group members. In this way, group location should be flexible and, no matter what, encourage discipleship. Says David, “Sunday schools should not be defined by where they take place.”
The three weigh the pros and cons of on-campus versus off-campus small groups. Factors to consider when deciding the location of a group include childcare, convenience, parking, consistent attendance, and the spiritual state of group members. No matter the group, whether it’s for new believers or seasoned believers, the small group leader should be “missional in their invitation,” says Chris.
The Group Answers Podcast is a weekly show designed to resource, train, and encourage small group leaders. Each episode considers current trends and resources as well as timeless truths and methods of discipleship. It is hosted by Brian Daniel, a Bible study and discipleship expert in Lifeway’s Groups Ministry, and Chris Surratt, the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway and author of Small Groups For The Rest Of Us.
GUEST: David Francis is the Director of Sunday School at Lifeway. He is the author of eleven small books available for free at lifeway.com/davidfrancis or at the iTunes store. His interactive Bible study, Spiritual Gifts, is in its ninth printing and is not free! (But it is available to order at lifeway.com.) He and his wife Vickie teach four- and five-year olds in Sunday School and are members of a small group of empty nesters. Their three sons and their families live in three different time zones—Boston, Los Angeles, and Bryan-College Station.