| Steve Lizzio and Knute Larson
||ABF stands for Adult Bible Fellowship. This approach to ministry was developed and popularized by pastor Knute Larson, in his book, The ABF Book. The ABF approach is designed to help the church work together toward building "communities" or people groups within the church, no matter its size. |
In his book, Larson describes an ABF group in this way: "ABFs are essentially congregations within a congregation. In our world of overcrowded schedules and superficial relationships, ABFs can provide the heartwarming, nurturing care we all long to find within the body of Christ."
The ABF system concentrates on assimilating and discipling adults within a local church. ABF is similar to "Sunday School" and other models, but it is also very different! The ABF system has some unique distinctives, as it:
- Attempts to avoid a "class" or academic setting built around the teaching ministry to a more "community" feel wherein people come as much to be with their group as they do for the teaching of God's Word. This approach to ministry attempts to turn classes into communities!
- Utilizes a team-ministry approach as opposed to placing the responsibility for keeping a class going solely on a teacher or another individual.
- Encourages groups to have an intentional "missional" component through serving and outreach opportunities to the community and within the church body. Midsize groups can provide "many hands" to make a difference!
- Attempts to create an effective synergy among some of the key ministries for adults, including: small groups; care ministries; disciple-making; outreach; assimilation for newcomers; etc. Such a synergistic mindset allows midsize groups to do what they do best and small groups do what they do best. (Trying to accomplish the vital elements of both sizes of gorups in just one setting is almost impossible!)
- Provides a church with midsize AND small groups, resulting in not only more "entry points" into the church but also a wider variety of types of entry points or "spaces".