The churches in the Kansas City Hispanic District decided to try something new at the end of 2017. They chose to have their small groups lead the worship services each Sabbath.
This new style of church and the training and preparation to make it happen made the members excited and eager to become involved. By January 2018 there were 11 small groups ready for action.
The first goal was to help with the spiritual growth inside the churches. The members felt by focusing inward first, they could be more spiritually led when they chose to focus outward.
Another goal was to learn to testify about their prayer lives. The church members learned how to be more focused during prayer and share how they are being blessed by that focus. Every week a portion of the Bible is read on Sabbath, and there are questions or games on that passage. At the end of the quarter, the church reviews the last 13 weeks. There are also incentives for those who learn the weekly memory verse from the quarterly Sabbath school lesson.
During the church services each week, there is a specific task for every small group. Each program in the service is done by a small group. For example, one group leads out in the Sabbath school program, another gives the welcome and announcements, another the stewardship testimony, another the missionary story, and another the prayer testimony.
There is a strong focus on personal testimonies because this is believed to be the best type of evangelism in the church. Nearly every person in the congregation can relate to the person speaking up front as they share their personal experiences. It is powerful to see how God is working in another person’s life, and this brings encouragement and motivation to the listener.
A small yet effective ministry
These small groups have been effective and are growing. In 2018, the year began with 12 small groups but increased to 14. In 2017 there were ten baptisms; in 2018, this increased to 27 baptisms.
Christian life should be exciting. Participating with God in reaching others gives that experience. Sharing details of how He has performed a miracle in someone’s life is unique; that is a privilege.
Small groups work to ensure the salvation of those who are already in the church and prepare people to be guided by the Spirit as well as help those who are asking God for His touch in their lives. Small groups are busy and active each week and participants are reenergized and blessed by the results.
Leo Figeroa is lead pastor for the K.C. Emanuel, K.C. Maranatha and Olathe New Haven Hispanic churches.