Small groups come under the watchful eye of bishops in today’s installment of GMD. For perspective, you can review that whole chapter on enlivening faith and sharing it.
The tenth objective reminds us of the aim of the authentic faith-sharing group, and what distinguishes it from any other social club. Is faith shared and applied to daily life? Then you have a small group.
How does this fit into the picture for evangelization? The bishops suggest three overlapping strategies that involve developing and cultivating small groups within parishes and Catholic organizations.
They also give the classic checklist of “prayer, spiritual growth, and apostolic efforts.” Why classic? It focuses on God, on the believer who cooperates with God’s grace in order to grow and develop, and it also focuses the group outside of itself.
Strategy number four involves retreats. In my experience, retreat time for a single small group is a rare consideration. But the idea intrigues, especially as a possible means of maintaining the small group as a semi-permanent entity within parish life and widening the scope of that ministry a bit.
On the evangelization front, I would also foresee small groups playing an important role welcoming and integrating new parishioners.