Small Group Ministry

small group ACM 2005What is Small Group Ministry? Small Group Ministry is about forming small groups within a congregation that deepen relationships among members. Small groups, also called covenant groups or chalice circles are one way to explore our spiritual orientation together.

Goals of Small Group Ministry

  • Community Building – Small Groups are about connecting with other people in the church, building community and facilitating pastoral care. It’s about creating a place where we can belong (intimacy) and finding a place that can make meaning in our lives (ultimacy).
  • Nurturing Leadership – A key aspect of the Small Groups is nurturing leadership within our community.
  • Practicing Our Religion – Covenant Circles are one way we model and practice our UU Religion. They are part of our commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Fulfilling our UU Principles and our Church’s Mission – Covenant Circles are about living out our UU principles. It is a way for us to grow as people and as a community.

What are Small Groups about?

A covenant circle group …

  • Is focused on topics or themes
  • Is intended to develop deep reflection in a caring environment
  • Provides support to one another and shares experiences
  • Is based on agreed upon principles and values
  • Has a small number of participants who are committed to regular attendance
  • Actively encourages new participation
  • Is prepared to seed new groups when the group size reaches an upper limit (of about 10 people)
  • Is committed to the group, the community and UU tradition

Resources for Congregations

Small Group Ministry Planning: Here are some useful questions a planning team should consider when initiating a Small Group Ministry Program.

For more information and resources, visit the Small Group Ministry page on the UUA website.