When you think of group life, of small group ministry, what are your axiomatic beliefs? Remember that an axiom is an established rule or principle or self-evident truth. We all have them stored away in our brains. The key is that not all of them are true…and not all of them are the kind that will always be true.
Consider this line from Gary Hamel’s The Future of Management:
All of us are held hostage by our axiomatic beliefs. We are jailbirds incarcerated within the fortress of dogma and precedent. And yet, for the most part, we are oblivious to our own captivity (p. 126, The Future of Management).”
This got me thinking; wondering what are the axiomatic beliefs of group life? Here’s my attempt at a top ten. Not all of them are true. None of these are mine. You look them over and then use the comment section to add to the list.
- The senior pastor needs to lead a group.
- Good groups grow and birth.
- The optimum environment for life-change is a small group.
- Elders or deacons are a good source for group leaders or coaches.
- The longer a group is together the more deeply connected the members become.
- Good groups practice the open chair.
- The “career path” of a leader is member, apprentice leader, leader, coach.
- Once a group gets to about 12 members, it’s pregnant and needs to start preparing to birth.
- The semester idea offers more “jump in” opportunities and offers the assurance that it’s only a 13 week commitment.
- Sermon-based curriculum makes your group stickier.
Here’s the thing about axiomatic beliefs. If you want to break through to a better way of helping people connect, grow spiritually, and impact their world…you’re going to have to debug your thinking and begin proactively developing paths that lead from where you are to where you want to be.
Over the next couple weeks I plan to unpack a few of these axiomatic beliefs, breaking them down, in the search for an underlying principle that will help all of us move to where we want to be. If you’d like to be updated when I add to this series, you can sign up right here.