When you are a beginner, you do what beginners can do. Think about when a newborn turns over for the very first time. Or takes their first step. Or puts a phrase together.
Clearly, there are things that you do when you are a beginner.
And then there are things you can only do once you have mastered the basics and are ready for what’s next.
I think there are small group ministry steps like that.
Actually, I think the best way to begin is to begin. Sure, there is the temptation to carefully lay the groundwork and slowly build a solid foundation. But I believe that long preparations come at the expense of unconnected people. And unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again. See also, What’s Your Urgency Level for Connecting Unconnected People?
So the best way to begin is to begin. And build the bridge as you walk on it.
But once you’ve begun it will soon be time to take next steps. Like what? Like these!
Four Next Steps for Small Group Ministries:
Refine your preferred future. You’ve given some thought already to the preferred future for your small group ministry. Now it’s time to refine it and fill in some blanks. Writing down, wordsmithing or crafting the picture of your preferred future will help you get there. Clarifying today what your small group leaders and coaches will be like in your preferred future will help you arrive. More importantly, knowing where you are going will help you make decisions along the way(i.e., “If we are going to arrive there, we will do this and not this.”) See also, Creating Your “Refined” Preferred Future.
Create a preferred future “org chart.” In his groundbreaking book, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber described the power of creating an org chart for your future organization complete with every role you will one day need:
- filling in the names those currently owning the responsibilities (often it will be your own name)
- systematically writing job descriptions for these roles, and
- recruiting the right people to fill the roles
What a fantastic idea! Can you imagine the potential of this simple next step? See also, Creating the Organization You Will Need Sooner Than Later.
Evaluate and reinvest in an effective coaching structure. Developing a culture of evaluation is a wise step. Casting vision for the value of open-handedness, the servant quality that acknowledges the truth that “I may not always be the best fit for this role,” is another very wise step. The year in, year out refreshing of your coaching team will keep you moving toward your refined preferred future. Committing again to invest in the development of your coaches is also an essential ingredient that builds a truly effective coaching structure. See also, What Does Coaching Look Like in Your Preferred Future?
Establish a small group leader pathway. Establishing a small group leader pathway is an important ingredient to building a thriving small group ministry. Whether you have fully embraced my philosophy that lowering the leader bar and simultaneously raising the coaching bar produces more leaders and more groups, when you recruit a small group leader you ought to have a journey in mind for them that takes them from “host” or “newbie” to “shepherd” and “seasoned leader.” See also, Steve Gladen on Saddleback’s Leadership Pathway.
What do you think? Have a question? You can click here to jump into the conversation.