5 Steps to Take If Your Small Group Ministry Struggles

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What do you do when your small group ministry struggles?  I’ve written about the 10 powerful benefits of a thriving small group ministry and also about the 5 easily overlooked secrets to building a thriving small group ministry.  But what do you do when your small group ministry struggles?

5 Steps to Take If Your Small Group Ministry Struggles:

  1. Evaluate your small group ministry.  There are some ingredients that really are essential.  If they aren’t present, you can’t build a thriving small group ministry.  See also, Evaluate Your Small Group Ministry with My Signature 10 Point Checklist.
  2. Take a careful look at the design of your small group ministry.  If it is true that “your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing (Andy Stanley)”, you can be sure that your small group ministry’s design is flawed.  See also, 7 Signs Your Small Group Ministry Has a Bad Design.
  3. Invite a trusted ministry partner into the conversation.  This is not about a gripe session.  Including additional perspectives is an important aspect of accurate diagnosis.  Partners might include your supervisor, your senior pastor and other staff members.  Partners could also include high capacity volunteers (coaches or community leaders).
  4. Be a learner.  Consider taking advantage of targeted learning (for example, my new short course Design, Build and Sustain a Thriving Small Group System).  At the same time, studying a recommended book or reading list ought to be a regular part of your diet.  I’m not suggesting that you change systems without careful consideration.  That is one of the 5 reasons small group ministries fail.  Rather, I’m encouraging you to be a learner.  Never stop learning.  See also, Required Reading for Small Group Pastors: Systems.
  5. Take advantage of the fresh eyes of a strategic outsider.  This could be another small group pastor who leads a thriving small group ministry.  It could also be an expert that you’ve come to trust.  The key here is that there is an advantage to fresh eyes.  You may also want to take advantage of personalized coaching call (like the easy to set up coaching calls that I offer).

The most important takeaway from this set of 5 steps to take is this: Once you realize that your small group ministry is struggling…you owe it to yourself, you owe it to your church, to do something about it.  Remember, “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing again and again and expect different results (Albert Einstein).”

Can I help you?  I’d love to help you build a thriving small group ministry.

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