3 Game-Changing Adjustments You Can Make

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3 Game-Changing Adjustments You Can Make

They say one of Bill Belichick’s (head coach of New England Patriots) greatest strengths is his ability to make adjustments at halftime.

Not every coach has that ability. Some play on hoping that the second half will be different (Einstein’s definition of insanity). Others explain difficulties away as flukes that will work themselves out (we’ll be playing with the wind at our back in the second half). And some simply shrug their shoulders and claim there’s nothing they can do.

Small group pastors have the same tendencies. Some are watching for adjustments that will change the game. Others see the situation but hope it will change for the better during the second half. And then some press on claiming there’s nothing they can do.

Which are you? I hope you’re the kind that looks for game changing adjustments and then makes them!

3 Game-Changing Adjustments You Can Make

Can’t find enough leaders?

If you can’t find enough leaders to connect the people you know need to be connected, consider adding an option that starts new groups without a leader (and that allows the new group to select or nominate their own).

Saddleback’s small group connection, North Point’s GroupLink and our adaptation of short-term on-campus groups all can start groups without prequalified leaders (and allow the new groups to select or nominate leaders from amongst the group).

See also, How to Launch New Groups with a Small Group Connection, North Points Small Group System, and Take Advantage of This Short-Term On-Campus Strategy.

Can’t start enough new groups?

Although this problem is often related to not finding enough leaders, it is a different challenge. There are a couple main solutions:

  1. Begin making new groups your priority. In most cases, the main roadblock to starting new groups is the practice of placing new members in existing groups. Begin training existing leaders to fish for themselves. See also, Top 10 Ways to Find New Members for Your Small Group and Are You Prioritizing the Launch of New Groups?
  2. Add new group options to existing strategies. Semester systems (free market and sermon based) can make it challenging to grow the total number of leaders (and as a result start new groups). By adding an option or two to the catalog (options that leverage starting new groups without prequalified leaders – see above).

Can’t find enough coaches?

A very common challenge for small group pastors in churches of all sizes is finding enough men and women with the characteristics that make for good coaches (That’s right. This is a problem nearly everywhere.)

An adjustment to the way you’re thinking about coaching might help you identify and recruit potential candidates.

  1. First, consider identifying candidates with potential from among your existing group leaders.  Yes, it will mean asking them to do something beyond what they are already doing (but let them decide if it’s too much).
  2. Second, invite them to simply use what they already do well to help a new leader or two to get off to a good start.
  3. Third, ask them for an 8 to 10 week commitment. Just long enough to truly get a new leader moving in the right direction. Helping a new group leader begin may be all they need to consider continuing themselves. And the bonus to you is that you’ll know in advance of asking them to continue whether they have both the desire to coach and the skills to be productive.

See also, How to Identify a Potential Coach, How to Recruit a Potential Coach, and The Awesome Potential of the Launch-Phase Coach Strategy.

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