BAND MEETINGS & Think You Have Lots of Friends? Nope: Science Says We’re Lucky to Have 5 #DunbarNumber

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: English sociologist Robin Dunbar has researched small group dynamics more than anyone, finding a small group of 3 to 4 friends is crucial for a healthy social life. John Wesley 250 years earlier stressed the same … Continue reading

ACCOUNTABILTY GROUPS & How Jon Weist Recreates Wesley “Band Meetings” #Exponential #TheWesleyanChurch

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 4/25/16. In partnership with the Exponential East conference, The Wesleyan Church holds an “Ignite” pre-conference sponsored by their Department of Church Multiplication and Discipleship.  Here are thoughts gleaned from Jon Wiest (church planter and current … Continue reading

SOCIAL HOLINESS & The Methodist Band Meeting: Confession Is For Protestants Too!

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Kevin Watson is a Wesley scholar and professor at Emory University that is indigenizing John Wesley’s method for emerging generations. I agree with him that people misapply Wesley’s phrase, ” The gospel of Christ knows of … Continue reading

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR & My Guide to How Org. Size Affects Organizational Behavior, Structures & Management

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 6/29/16. To lead an organization, you must first understand how the organization “behaves” and then begin to “manage” the “organizational behavior.”  Here are comments about church organizational size, behavior and management edited together here from … Continue reading

SUB-CONGREGATIONS & How Megachurches Are Going Small … and Why

by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/29/16. Why Megachurches Go Small Larger churches often recognize what small churches might miss—there are advantages to being little. Through small groups, multisite campuses, and now microsites, those megachurches are attempting to continue … Continue reading

SUB-CONGREGATIONS & LifeWay Interviews Bob Whitesel on How Large Churches Can Reap Benefits of Smallness

When Big Goes Small: How Large Churches Are Learning From Those With Less by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/29/16. …In the last five years, the typical megachurch’s main sanctuary decreased in size from 1,500 seats to a median … Continue reading

SMALL GROUPS & A Leadership Exercise To Discover Why People Dislike Them

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/29/15. Most people intuitive understand that accountability and discipleship take place in small, intimate groups (e.g. Jesus’ twelve disciples or Wesley’s band meetings).  And, I have some to believe that small groups are probably the … Continue reading

ACCOUNTABILITY & How to Customize Small Group Questions to Meet Needs

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/6/15. Fostering accountability in small groups is important, but can be challenging.  We are so accustomed to putting up barriers, false facades, etc. But, what if you customized a list of accountability questions relevant to your … Continue reading

WESLEY & How to Create Accountability in Small Groups

by Bob Whitesel, 3/5/15 I’ve found that often times small groups lack an accountability function and instead mutate into venues in which people “don’t want to hurt any feelings” (and true accountability does happen). But, there are questions that can … Continue reading

SMALL GROUPS & Should They Be Homogeneous or Heterogeneous?

by Bob Whitesel, April 7, 2009. The following are questions tendered by a previous student and my responses.  They reflect some of innovative ways we can expand our small group systems today. The student said: “You mentioned when a group … Continue reading

FELLOWSHIP & How Dunbar Follows Wesley in Depicting Your Ever-widening Circles of Friends #DunbarNumber

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Robin Dunbar, the sociologist famous for depicting relationships including the “Dunbar Number,” gives us a modern version of John Wesley’s discipleship method of: band meetings (3-5 people), class meetings (12-15 close friends) and the society meeting … Continue reading