5 People Every Small Group Pastor Needs in Their Circle

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You may feel like the lone inventor, a prophet in your own town, or a sole proprietor desperately trying to keep the business afloat...

...but whatever you feel like there are a few people every small group pastor needs in their circle. Every small group pastor. That's me. That's you. There are no good exceptions to this one.

There are a few people every small group pastor needs in their circle. Every small group pastor. That's me. That's you. There are no good exceptions to this one. Share on X

5 people every small group pastor needs in their circle:

1. Peers.

You need at least one (and preferably a network) of peers who are working to build thriving small group ministries. I have always been a networker and over the years I've come to really appreciate the value of a extended circle of peers who are nostril deep in the same struggle. Don't really have anyone that fits the bill? A great way to get started building this resource is by connecting with the small group network in your area.

2. Mentor(s).

Whether you build this connection vicariously (by reading books, blogs or other resources), find a coach or join GroupLife Insider, or simply make a connection at a conference, mentors provide invaluable thinking about what could be next. I've been following in the footsteps of a few mentors for many years now. I've met a few of them, but I've still learned a ton by reading their books and listening to them at conferences. See also, Required Reading for Small Group Pastors: Systems.

3. Comrades.

As you build a thriving small group ministry you'll probably begin to notice leaders and coaches who share your passion. There are few things more rewarding than building a team of fellow soldiers, fully engaged in the mission. The sooner you reach this point in your ministry, the more fun you'll have.

4. Mentee(s).

I am convinced that one of the greatest benefits of the Small Group Network is that it makes it possible to learn from those who are ahead of us and teach those who are behind us. Trust me, if you've been in this journey any length of time, there are people who could learn from you.

5. Outsider(s) (with fresh eyes).

This may be an unanticipated ingredient/participant in your circle, but be sure and listen. The greatest advances, the biggest "breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary." And the presence or engagement of a strategic outsider almost always plays a key role (thanks to Will Mancini for the fantastic term!).

Today's Question and Challenge:

Here's my question today: How many of the 5 do you have? I sincerely believe that a quick assessment would reveal a high correlation between high impact and the presence of 4 of the 5 kinds of people and low impact and the absence of 4 of 5 kinds of people.

And here's my challenge to you: If you find yourself with a low score today, maybe today is the day you schedule a coaching call with me! You can do that right here.


Image by Elijah Nouvelage

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  1. Jay Daniell on July 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Good word Mark. I guess I am 4 for 5. I better find my number 5. AND yes, the SmallGroupNetwork.com is a great way to find support, encouragement and resources.

  2. markchowell on July 8, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Figured you might like the Small Group Network reference!