Small Group Ministry

4 Day SGM Training  | SGM Retreat  | Leader Support | SGM Articles | Circle Prayer

Main line congregations are finding that a small group ministry does two very important things. It provides a place where the current congregation can deepen their faith and find support as they live out their Christian ministry. It also enables newcomers to the congregation to quickly develop the spiritually supportive meaningful relationships they so often are looking for. Below are some of the small group ministry resources we offer:

At the Congregational Life Centre we have been offering training in Small Group Ministry for some years. We would like to put our insights and experience at the service of your congregation.

4 day Small Group Ministry Training (Athabasca)

Set aside the second week of August for a four-day Small Group Ministry event at the Athabasca Lodge. Experience the support and spiritual renewal that comes from being part of a small group, and explore the theory and dynamics that make small groups such a dynamic means for growth and enrichment in the church today. Come with a team from your congregation. By the end of the session, each congregational develops a plan for instituting or strengthening a small group ministry in their setting.

The program starts on Monday August 11, 2008 at 10:30 a.m., and concludes Thursday Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. Registration is limited so register early. Cost: $295 per person includes tuition, meals and accommodation. Call the Centre 780-619-0386 to register or for more information.

Here are some PICTURES & COMMENTS from the Athabasca SGM August 2006 & 2007 events:

We began each day with our small group gathering. There is no better way to learn about small groups than by being a small group.


At the centre of our small group were objects that symbolized our presence, and that the Spirit was at the centre of our gathering.


Our small group was a time for some fun, a lot of sharing, a few tears, and a lot of mutual support.


Then came delving into the dynamics of leading a small group in one's own congregation.


Sharing our insights was an important part of the process, for we all have been part of a small group of some sort.


Joyce Madsen shared her wisdom.


Part of the fun was carving diamond willow into talking sticks for use in a small group circle back home.


The campfire was the perfect place for whittling, telling stories, and sharing.


The whittling seemed to go on into the night, as did the singing and the conversation around the fire.


The athletic members took noon hour to treck to the lookout over the Athabasca River — 3/4 kilimetres ahead, and 300 metres down. The coming up was a little more strenuous than the going down.


Meals together were a great time for fun and for sharing.


Here's the Athabasca 2006 gang. A greater crew to go small grouping with you won't find anywhere.


The Athabasca 2008 group were a delight to be with.

Then we went to Guelph, Ontario, and did it all over again with a great group there.


  • This is vitally important stuff to be aware of and to become involved in - a simply presented, revolutionary way of being the church.
  • Extremely valuable session. Having felt very alone with my ideas and situation, I have now become more confident that I can move forward with definite steps and a plan.
  • The openness of the facilitators to be authentic has modeled for me the type of leader I wish to become.
  • An exceptional learning environment enabled the exploration of small group ministry.
  • I like your easy relaxed manner of presenting information.
  • To gain clarity and understanding of small groups in the church, do not hesitate to engage in this course.
  • Very good program - excellent leadership.
  • I appreciated the emphasis on developing a personal plan.
  • The Small Group Ministry binder was very helpful.
  • I appreciated the learning set in nature - a beautiful place to gather.


We invite you to make Small Group Ministry in Athabasca part of your 2008 summer.


Small Group Ministry Retreat

The objective of this event is to introduce small group ministry, provide an opportunity to experience a small group, and to create a plan for developing a small group ministry in your congregation. Gather ten or so persons who are interested in participating in the launch of a small group ministry in your congregation. There are opportunities to share experiences of small groups, explore the dynamics of small groups, and experience being part of a supportive small group. This is normally a Friday evening-Saturday event, but ask about other formats.

SGM Leader Support

We encourage you to contact us if you have a leadership role in a small group ministry. We offer a number of options for support. We can support your congregation's small group ministry in a number of ways. Please discuss your unique requirements with us.

Small Group Ministry Articles

Explore the numerous Articles on Small Group Ministry that have appeared in our Congregational Life Newsletter.

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