I talk and write a lot about building a thriving small group ministry. You might say I am preoccupied by it! Some might even say I am obsessed by the idea. See also, 10 Principles for Building a Thriving Small Group Ministry.
As part of the community here, I have no doubt that you’re thinking about what it will take to build a thriving small group ministry. You’re probably already working on building one!
Still, there a few things I need to remind you about.
You can’t build a thriving small group ministry…
- Overnight. Thriving small group ministries are never built in a day. They are never built as a result of a single small group launch or church-wide campaign. They are built over years as a result of an enduring commitment on the part of many. They are built over many seasons and are the result of determined resolution. See also, Wash, Rinse, Repeat and the Long Run.
- By accident. Thriving small group ministries are the result of intentional choices made over many seasons and years. They are the result of design and not chance. They are the result of strategic preference and choice. See also, 7 Decisions that Predetermine Small Group Ministry Impact.
- On your own. Thriving small group ministries are built by teams; they are built by bands of committed men and women who know deep in their own experience the life-changing potential of a circle. A lone small group pastor can never accomplish what a committed core of leaders can. See also, 5 Habits I’d Look for If I Was Hiring a Small Group Pastor.
- Without your senior pastor’s help. Building a thriving small group ministry cannot be done without the full support of the most influential person in the church. It won’t happen without your senior pastor as visible and unmistakable champion. See also, Small Group Ministry Roadblock #1: A Doubtful and Conflicted Senior Pastor.
- With a buffet. Thriving small group ministries are built when next steps are easy, obvious and strategic. Larger and more extensive menus never make choosing the right next step easier. Smartly tailored and hand-crafted steps lead to more movement and a greater willingness on the part of unconnected people to take first steps. See also, 5 Totally Obvious Reasons Small Group Ministries Fail.
I’m sure I’m leaving a few things out. The truth about building a thriving small group ministry is that it’s not easy. It can’t be done overnight or by accident. You can’t do it alone. You need your senior pastor’s help and you can’t do it with a buffet. See also, 5 Easily Overlooked Secrets to Building a Thriving Small Group Ministry.
Image by gawnesco