There is a tricky line of thinking prevalent in many Western megachurches that adopt a small group model: "The pastor can't personally care for everyone--we need to connect people into small groups where they do life together and get their pastoral care."Yes, we need to be in a community where we practice One Anothers (encouraging one another, helping one another, challenging one another, praying for one another, and so forth). But we need to think long and hard about presenting Small Groups as a sort of therapy circle. If we are primarily going to Small Group or Home Group or Life Group or whatever to get our pastoral needs met, will we be interested in Outreach or in inviting non-believers to our group? I suspect if we said, "The pastor can't personally reach our community for Jesus by himself--we need to connect people into small teams where they will reach out to the community together and minister to non-believers" -- we might get a somewhat different response?
Pastoral care from small groups