We all know how important small groups are to churches. The larger you get, the smaller you must get. But here's my question: what should those groups be doing? I love the Larry Crabb vision of groups as a place of intergenerational connecting where we engage each other deeply with gospel values. We learn one another's stories and help each other through prayer, encouragement, mentoring, and guidance. But these groups CAN be so inwardly focused. At the conference I was just at, the senior minister said that he upset many in the church by changing the nature of small groups. Formerly, people drove all over the city to be with people they wanted to be with. Now, instead, they are put in small groups with people they live by. The purpose of these groups is largely evangelistic. You meet with people you live by, and you all invite those who are around you. He said that every Sunday night people all over town see members of his church (10,000 people) walking down the streets to their small groups. Should small groups grow and divide? Should they stay the same over the long haul to encourage intimacy and shared stories? Should they be primarily about evangelism or Bible study or prayer or ministry? I know this doesn't have to be an either/or. But I'd like to hear from others: what's you're experience in small groups? What has been valuable? What suggestions do you have for others?