SpiritGroups for Member Ministries


"Initially, it seemed a bit ridiculous to me to think that by starting a small community, we could somehow change the world, but now, it seems more ridiculous to me to think that somehow the world will change if we don’t do something."  ~ Episcopal Priest Becca Stevens

Unity SpiritGroups are multi-dimensional, multi-faceted small group ministries that fulfill many needs within your ministry, including, but not limited to:

The first rule of any organization is to do what you can to engage and support those who are already members. These people are already invested in you, your mission, your vision, your values, your ministry. Take care of them first. When our members feel heard, supported, and loved, new members will follow.

In today’s church, very few ministries are growing and thriving right now, yet many people are looking for community. A large group or congregation can be very overwhelming, but a small group of 3-8 feels safe. Once they create relationships with the small group, they will feel more connected to and comfortable with the larger group.

Leadership training is a built-in, natural part of a Unity SpiritGroup. Each member helps the group by accepting roles within the group, while no one person acts as the leader of the group. Each person participates in the creation of and agrees to the heart agreements for their group, thus contributing to decision-making that benefits each member.

Each member of the group completes a Spiritual Life Assessment, setting their personal spiritual growth intention for themselves and receiving support to accomplish their intention. They connect with their experience of God, connect with others to grow in their awareness of God in their lives, and fill their cups with mutually fulfilling spiritual growth opportunities. When their cups are filled, they are more able to support your ministry in whatever way is needed. Therefore, each intention naturally contributes to balance within the person, the group, and ultimately the ministry.

At the end of each 10-week session, each group organizes and participates in a community service project. This supports your ministry in spreading the word to the community where your ministry lives that you are walking the talk of your mission, it supports your members in exercising their spiritual and emotional maturity, it supports your membership in deepening their relationships through cooperative project completion, and it supports your community in giving much-needed labor and attention to otherwise unanswered needs.

Unity SpiritGroups has an established, tried, and proven curriculum that teaches and supports your ministries leadership and administrative team in identifying where each member of the ministry is in their spiritual growth, how to engage them where they are, and how encourage them to engage more.

This curriculum also offers your ministry a contained and compact method for revisiting the mission, vision, values, and programs offered by your ministry to ensure that your message aligns with your actions.

All they need to do is follow the meeting structure and timeline. A meeting with structure helps ensure that the group stays focused and gives each member security in knowing how it flows and what comes next. Each person participates in the structure of the group, including developing the Heart Agreements, planning the social event and community service projects, and participating in a role.

Unity SpiritGroups create a ministry OF small groups, not a ministry WITH small groups.  

A ministry OF small groups elicits the feeling that everyone in the ministry has a small group to call family, to call home, to support them and accept them. It feels inclusive. A ministry WITH small groups elicits a feeling of separateness, that only those in the small groups are included, and those outside of those groups are excluded.  

What kind of ministry do you want to create?


Click here to learn more about Unity SpiritGroups or reach out to us at spiritgroups@unity.org.

How can they help my ministry? 

It helps you reframe your membership growth from thinking from the inside out to the outside in.

1. Core - Committed to your ministry and signs up for everything you offer.

2. Committed - Tithes and attends regularly.

3. Congregation - Attends every 4-6 weeks.

4. Crowd - Attends on holidays.

5. Community - People that are not connected to your church.

Unity SpiritGroups moves each population one step in. The core may move into leadership roles within the ministry or even Unity, such as becoming an LUT or a minister. Committed moves into Core, Congregation moves into Committed, Crowd moves into Congregation, and Community moves into Crowd. This allows a new population to move into Community. Each session of Unity SpiritGroups has the potential to move these populations one step inward.