“As the Church Gets Big, We Have to Get Small”: A Program Evaluation of Montrose Church’s LifeGroups Program
While small churches often provide intimate support to their congregants, large churches have needed to develop programmatic strategies to encourage interpersonal relationships and community. Past research has shown that small group programs have been effective at encouraging spiritual growth as well as commitment to the church, as long as the program has adequate support and structure. The current study is a program evaluation of the LifeGroups program at Montrose Church, a Church of the Nazarene located in northern Glendale. The LifeGroups program intends to foster belonging, connection to the larger church, growth in faith, and service to others. Participants were all current LifeGroup members. Fifty LifeGroup members were given four measures: the Group Climate Questionnaire, the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religion/Spirituality, the Helping Attitudes Scale, and a LifeGroup Goals Survey. The scales were administered twice, five months apart, with no controlled intervention. It was hypothesized that LifeGroup members would show significant improvements in group cohesion, faith experience, service to others, and specific LifeGroups goal areas. No significant differences were found on any measure between the two administrations of the test. Correlational analyses found several significant relationships among measures. Implications and limitations of these preliminary findings and future research directions are discussed.
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
Montrose Church of the Nazarene, Church group work, Church of the Nazarene, Small groups