"Small group" shouldn't mean "small impact." God has placed your Bible study in a particular place, and you have the opportunity to work together to reach the people around you. One fun way is by planning a small-group outreach event where you can invite friends to hear the gospel while having a good time.
Some examples of outreaches are:
Satisfy Your Soul: Each small-group member invites 1+ friends to enjoy soul food and spiritual conversation.
Minute to Win It: Each small-group member invites 1+ friends to a night of one-minute games alternated with one-minute spiritual questions.
Hands & Feet: Each small-group member invites 1+ friends to serve the homeless by offering manicures and pedicures (nail polish not required). Afterward, debrief the time by looking at how Jesus loved the least of these too.
"What is Real Love?" Valentine's Dinner: Each small-group member invites 1+ friends to a dinner where the topic of conversation or speaker presentation is on the topic of love with a clear connection to how Jesus shows his love.
Here is a list with six signs you've planned a great small-group outreach:
Sign 1: It Sounds Like Fun
Your outreach will be something that...
Is relevant and appealing for those you’re inviting
Is accessible yet clearly spiritual (accessible spiritual events are rare and valuable to non-Christians)
Your small group can do well
Has a catchy title and/or one-sentence description
Sign 2: It Makes Personal Invitations
The invitations to your outreach will...
Use the most personal way appropriate for your relationship with the invitee, which is probably face to face, and definitely more than a Facebook event invitation. Try saying, "I thought you might enjoy coming because…"
Be made by every small-group member. Everyone should try to bring at least one friend, and keep inviting until they find one.
Sign 3: It Has Starter Questions
Your outreach will get conversational gears turning about the topic and about God because it will...
Encourage people to talk in twos or threes during a specific part of the event
Be relevant to others’ current situations or questions they’re asking
Not necessarily need to be a conversion testimony
Be real, not perfect
Sign 5: It Presents the Gospel
In order to have the conversation we always hope for, yet rarely get to, your outreach will...
Recognize that it’s cruel to deny our friends the answer we’ve found
Present what Christians believe about the topic and what Jesus has to say about it
Sign 6: It Invites a Response
Because the gospel is not information, it's an invitation from God, your outreach will...
Clearly invite people to say “yes” or “no”
Value compassion for friends over fear of their response
Offer multiple invitations—including for Christians—so no one feels singled out
Provide different ways people can respond (verbally, on a card, with an action)
Make sure small-group members are immediately available to listen to people to learn what they’re thinking and decide how to help them next.
Think back on a small-group outreach you've tried. How did it measure up to these six signs? Which sign could you improve upon to try the outreach again soon? Or, brainstorm a small-group outreach you could do this semester and share your ideas for how it could meet the six signs. Leave your thoughts in a comment below.