Small groups are the front line of The Pittsburgh Experiment's ministry to individuals. Group members understand the need to be available for each other. As each member daily lifts up the concerns and prayers of others in the group, they are encouraged, as well as being an encouragement to others.
While there are no set rules, the groups are guided by a few governing principles. These principles called the "Twelve Crucial Ingredients" can be found by clicking the page name or on the navigation link to the right.
The groups take on a variety of roles depending on the composition and the needs of the group.
Two of the more common types of groups are:
The small group leader's role is that of a facilitator to the group, who encourages a shared ownership among those in the group.
People bond to a small group by experiencing several "touches" (expressions of interest) from those in the group. Remembering a person's name, inquiring about their well being, and calling to follow up with a new person are essential to helping newcomers begin to feel a part of the group. A non-judgmental atmosphere where all group members experience being unconditionally accepted is essential for allowing all to feel free to share experiences of struggle, growth and development.
One of our basic principles is to meet and accept each other wherever we are on our spiritual journey. The focus is placed on "friendship evangelism" or building relationships with others in order to form a credible platform from which to offer encouragement and hope in times of need and distress.
The Pittsburgh Experiment is relationship oriented instead of curriculum oriented. We believe God uses inter-personal relationships to reach people, and to encourage their faith. Members are encouraged to "tell their own story." By sharing from our own experiences, we keep things practical rather than intellectual or theoretical. When we share about how God has helped us through our difficulties, we are offering our experience to God, and inviting others to "experiment" with Him too.