What Does Your Percentage Connected Say about Your Ministry Design?

What Does Your Percentage Connected Say about Your Ministry Design?

As Thomas Jefferson pointed out in the Declaration of Independence, some truths are self-evident. “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Another truth that I hold to be self-evident is that, “Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing.” Andy Stanley pointed us to that truth in 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.

Do you believe that your ministry design actually produces the results you are currently experiencing? I hope you do. If you’re still chalking up results to flukes and misfortune you’re missing out on a wonderful diagnostic tool.

Ministry design produces the results you are experiencing.

Ministry design, whether at the tactical or strategic level (like the last small group connection you held or the way you assign a coach to a new leader) or the model or system level (as in the model or system you use in your small group ministry) produces the results you are experiencing.

If you don’t like the results you are experiencing, you must change your design.

With me?

In the same way your doctor can look at your symptoms, look at some test results and develop a diagnosis of your condition, you can look at look at symptoms and examine results and develop a diagnosis of your ministry’s condition.

Excessive thirst and urination, fatigue, weight loss, and blurred vision are all signs and symptoms of diabetes. A combination of these and other symptoms might reveal the presence of or the development of diabetes.

What might your percentage connected reveal about your small group ministry design?

What might your percentage connected reveal about your small group ministry design? Ever thought about that?

Your percentage connected (typically, the number of adults in groups divided by your average weekend adult worship attendance), is a symptom of your ministry design. Your ministry design is the cause of those results. See also, What Percentage of Your Adults are Actually Connected?

Important Note: In the same way certain behaviors, aspects of your physical design, can contribute to the development of Type 2 Diabetes (obesity and lack of  physical activity), certain aspects of your ministry design can contribute to the development of a low percentage connected.

If percentage connected is important, what is a healthy percentage connected?

When you are thinking about percentage connected it is important to acknowledge the effect or impact of being connected as well as the effect or impact of not being connected.

According to Abraham Maslow, one of the most important human needs is belonging. Not far behind is becoming. Being connected often satisfies both needs.

On the flip side, unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again. Loss of a job. Divorce or separation. A devastating diagnosis. A child in trouble. See also, What’s Your Urgency Level for Connecting Unconnected People?

What aspects of your ministry design might affect your percentage connected?

While there are many factors that may contribute to a low percentage connected, here are a few of the most common:

  1. Senior pastor refuses to champion the importance of small group participation for connection and spiritual growth. See also, Small Group Roadblock #1: A Doubtful or Conflicted Senior Pastor.
  2. Too many options are offered for connecting and growing. See also, Small Group Roadblock #2: A Bloated “Belong” and “Become” Menu.
  3. Indecision about the best next step. See also, Small Group Ministry Roadblock #3: Indecision about the Best Next Step.
  4. A lack of understanding of the culture (i.e., interests, priorities, pace of life, etc.). See also, Small Group Ministry Roadblock #4: A Myopic Understanding of the Culture.
  5. A leadership development disconnect. See also, Small Group Ministry Roadblock #5: A Leadership Development Disconnect.

How is your percentage connected these days? Is it where you want it to be? Or is it time for a design diagnosis?

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