Have you ever suddenly noticed something and never looked at it the same way again? You know how sometimes you can get so used to the cracked mirror that you stand in front of it and never notice it…every morning? This is the opposite experience. This is that thing that you’ve seen a million times but once you see it, once you notice it, you can never miss it again.
Once you’ve noticed certain things…they change the game forever.
Here are a 6 things that have changed the game for me:
- Connecting people is a first step. Making disciples is a second step. Belonging is a higher motivation than becoming. Period. End of story. If you want to make more disciples, focus on making it easy to connect into an environment where most barriers to following Jesus have been removed. See also, 5 Keys to Building a Small Group Ministry at the Corner of “Belonging” and “Becoming”.
- Unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again. One tough thing. A marriage problem. An illness. Loss of a job. A teen who goes south. One tough thing. And it could happen at any time. For some of the unconnected people in your congregation it will happen this year. For others it will happen this week. If you want the opportunity to help them…you need to act sooner than later. See also, What’s Your Urgency Level for Connecting Unconnected People?
- The pursuit of problem-free delays more ministry than anything else. There are no problem-free models, systems or strategies. Zero. Every model, every system, and every strategy comes with a set of problems. Wise leaders simple choose the set of problems they’d rather have. See also, The Pursuit of Problem-Free.
- You don’t have to be a leader to lead a small group. The old school understanding was that you needed to be a leader to lead a small group. Somewhere along the line I realized that the s.h.a.p.e., or the wiring, of the leader just determines the way the leader leads. Have the gift of encouragement or mercy? Your group will look different than the group of a leader with a hospitality gift or shepherding gift. See also, Raising the Bar, Lowering the Bar, or Open Bar?
- “Coaching” small group leaders has almost nothing to do with coaching. The best coaches understand that it’s really about doing “to and for” the leader whatever you want the leader to do “to and for” their members. This is why I say, “Whatever you want to happen in the life of a member must happen in the life of the leader first.” 6 Essential Characteristics of an Effective Small Group Coach and Four Small Group Coaching Insights that Might Be Eye-Opening.
- Your senior pastor must be the small group champion. This role cannot be delegated. If your senior pastor is not fully in the game, you cannot build a thriving small group ministry. Period. End of story. It doesn’t matter how passionate or committed or knowledgeable or experienced your small group pastor is. Without the senior pastor…it just can’t happen. See also, Small Group Ministry Roadblock #1: A Doubtful or Conflicted Senior Pastor.
What do you think? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
Image by Spiros Vathis