One of the distinctives of the purpose-driven small group strategy is that healthy groups balance the 5 purposes. Now, you may not think of your church as purpose-driven…that’s ok. You don’t have to think of your church that way to benefit from an understanding of the benefit of this idea.
So what does it mean in a group to balance the 5 purposes? Here it is. If you think about the experience of most of the small groups you’ve ever been in, you probably will remember a subtle drift toward longer times hanging out in the kitchen eating chips and salsa, possibly good discussions about the Bible around the coffee table, and not a lot else. Oh, you may have begun with the idea that you’d like to serve together in some outreach opportunity, but in most groups the gravitational pull toward fellowship with a very small twist of discipleship is too strong to overcome.
Is there any hope? Or are groups just doomed to settle for the fellowship and discipleship tango? Actually, it is possible and many churches are very effectively implementing the idea of balancing the purposes. It takes intentionality, but it can be done. Here’s how.
You may remember having a new tire balanced at the tire shop. As the tire spins on the balancing equipment, the technician is able to see where additional weight needs to be placed in order for balance to occur. See where this is going? In the same way, balance comes not by giving equal time to each of the purposes, but by placing greater emphasis on the parts that need added weight. Make sense?
So, for balance to occur in your group you may need to spend more time and energy on the purposes that don’t naturally draw you attention. Attending a worship experience together, tackling an outreach project in your community or serving in an on-campus ministry are all elements that will help “balance” the natural drift toward an over-emphasis on the purposes that come so easily to most of us.
What’s your next step? Taking the Purpose Driven Life Health Assessment allows your group members to see what their strengths and weaknesses are. It’s a free download. You can take advantage of it RIGHT HERE.