Sometimes things seem more complicated than they really are. Small group ministry is truly one of those things. It’s just not that complicated.
6 things you need to know about small group ministry:
- There is no problem-free small group strategy or system. It really doesn’t matter what system, strategy or model you choose. They all come with a set of problems. Wise leaders simply choose the set of problems they’d rather have. The hunt for a problem-free solution may be the number one cause of ministry delay. See also, Breaking: No Problem-Free Small Group System, Model or Strategy.
- Your strategy or system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing. Don’t like the results you’re experiencing? You must look at the design. Results are directly related to design. You may want to believe your results are a fluke; that they are related to the weather, or who was playing in the Super Bowl, or who won the election. But your results are produced by the design. Want different results? Change the design. See also, 5 GroupLife Dots You May Not Be Connecting.
- There is no substitute for your senior pastor as small group champion. There is no avoiding this reality. If you want to build a thriving small group ministry, the role of small group champion cannot be delegated. You may be able to connect the men and women in your church who are naturally inclined toward community (every church has a group of people who would connect even if it was illegal). But if you want to connect beyond your average weekend adult attendance, you will need the most influential person in your church to be the spokesperson for life in community. See also, Small Group Ministry Roadblock #1: A Doubtful and Conflicted Senior Pastor.
- Unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again. This is my way of saying there is no tomorrow for some of the unconnected men and women in your crowd. Their window is closing. If you want to connect them to a small group, time really is of the essence. “We don’t have enough qualified leaders” will not be an acceptable excuse. See also, What’s Your Urgency Level for Connecting Unconnected People?
- Whatever you want to happen at the member level will have to happen to the leader first. Doesn’t it stand to reason? If you want your members to know that someone is praying for them, to know what it feels like to be prayed for, their leader will have to have already had that experience. If you want group members to be discipled, it will have to happen to their leader first. Bottom line? This almost always makes building an effective coaching structure an essential step. See also, Model What You Want to Happen at the Member Level.
- You can’t build a thriving small group ministry overnight. Do not miss this. Building a thriving small group ministry requires a long term commitment. It happens over years of launching waves of new groups and sustaining a percentage of them. Season after season. Never wavering. Wash, rinse and repeat. See also, Wash, Rinse, Repeat and the Long Run.
What do you think? Want to argue? Have something to add? You can click here to jump into the conversation.