How would you describe yourself? Are you more of an idealist? Someone who cherishes and pursues noble goals and purposes? Or would you describe yourself as more of a pragmatist? Really all about how to get results?
I’ve had conversations over the years with small group practitioners from all stripes (cell church, metachurch, free market, semester-based, sermon-based, G12, connecting church, and campaign-driven). I have good friends in every camp. But when I have a conversation, it almost always comes down to a discussion about results. It doesn’t start there. It starts with big dreams. It usually starts with an idealism and a little disconnect with what is actually happening. It’s right here that two things can fall into place:
First, I’ll sometimes refer to the great Steven Levitt line about global warming:
Forget about what you believe may be true. Forget about what you hope may true. Instead just look at what’s actually happening.
Second, I’ll make sure we spend a little time working through the fact that the pursuit of problem-free is the number one delay in ministry.
Having finished that discussion, I explain that:
- It’s about clarifying the win for your small group ministry.
- It’s about inspecting the results. I love this Winston Churchill line:
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
- It’s about asking tough questions. I love this question from Roger Martin’s Design of Business:
What would have to be true for that approach to work?
It is one thing to have dreams about a group multiplication strategy that grows by apprenticing leaders. It’s one thing to hold forth on the advantages of the closed group model and talk about the benefits to the members of those groups. Still…at the end of the day…it’s important to wrestle well with the question, “How’s it working?”
What do you think? Are you an idealist or a pragmatist? Want to argue? Got a question? You can click here to jump into the conversation.