Posted by: Simon & Becci | March 29, 2012

The start of small groups

Blogs readers who are familiar with how churches are run will know that all over the world, Christians don’t just meet one another on a Sunday, but often also meet in one another’s homes to eat, pray, worship, study the Bible and generally enjoy being together.

As this is an important biblical principle, we’ve been trying to work out how to do this in Phnom Penh. People’s lifestyles and daily timetable here don’t exactly lend themselves to meeting on a Wednesday evening at 7.30pm, starting with tea and biscuits!

Our Family Group looking their best....

After much thought, over the past couple of weeks we finally started our first small group (which we are calling “Family Group”). The idea is to start with one, and very quickly multiply into three groups, two in Khmer and one in English.

Its going well so far, although unsurprsingly with a few differences:

Timing – we meet on a Friday evening between 5.30 – 7.30pm, with people coming straight from work. We all sit on a mat on the floor, and share a meal together before spending a bit of time to worship, study and pray. Future groups may well end up meeting on weekend afternoons/evenings as this is often the best time for Cambodians.

Natei, Jamie and Ewan hard at work

Children – in the UK people tend to get a baby sitter or put their children to bed upstairs when their small group starts. Not so here. Our first group comprises 9 adults and 6 children (aged between 3 and 12), making the dynamic of the group very different. It is great fun to have the kids involved, and well worth the extra chaos it brings! Never before have I drawn on the walls during a Bible study or been asked if I have any scissors during a worship time….

Noise levels – Phnom Penh is a constantly noisy city and our Family Group meeting has been no different. In addition to 6 excitable children we have had:

  • Translation of everything from English into Khmer (which added to children means always about 8 voices speaking at once)
  • A worship time interrupted by absolutely torrential rain hammering down on the tin roofs outside
  • (My personal favourite) Colin driving his motorbike into the room where we were meeting whilst the rest of us were singing “Lord, I lift your name on high”. Maybe a section on “How to deal with the sudden arrival of a Peugeot 106 in your meeting” should be added to the next Coventry small group leaders training course….

The moto "ministry time", as they line up for prayer



  1. It sounds fantastic 🙂

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