Can You Tell If Your Small Group Might Be a Zombie?

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zombiesCan you tell the difference between a small group that's fully alive and a zombie group?

You've probably seen and heard all the buzz about zombies.

You might have the general idea about what makes a person a zombie (as opposed to being alive).

But have you ever thought about what might make a small group a zombie? And have you ever tried to figure out whether your group is a zombie? Or how many of your groups are actually zombie groups?

Here's a test:

  1. Your small group meets on a regular basis and everyone in your group is "doing great" every time you meet. No one ever talks about their struggles. They learned a long time ago that what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in your group is quickly public knowledge. See also, Skill Training: The Power of a Small Group Agreement.
  2. The most common prayer request is for "a friend of your uncle's who lives in another country and is pretty sure their ex-wife's gardner has a rare form of cancer." See also, Skill Training: Top 10 Ways to Learn to Pray Together, The Simplest Way to Help Your Members Pray Out Loud, and Skill Training: Sub-Grouping for Deeper Connection.
  3. Your group is studying James but no one can come up with a personal application. See also, Skill Training: Learn How to Apply Scripture as a Group.
  4. The first hour of every meeting is spent bemoaning the outcome of the Super Bowl (or the election, the boring weekend service, the senior pastor's outfit from Buckle, etc.).
  5. Every time your group meets...everyone has to reintroduce themselves. Might be because you only meet during the annual church-wide campaign. Might be because you think everyone has to be there in order to convene.
  6. A lifeless mood inhabits your meetings. The last time anyone laughed or cried was on November 8, 2008.
  7. The last suggestion that anyone needed to take a next spiritual step was met with 2012. See also, Skill Training: Equip Leaders to Help Members Plan to Grow.
  8. 90 minutes twice a month is the absolute limit to any sense of connection. Any chance meeting in between meetings is just that. Chance and nothing more.
  9. Serving anyone without calculated ROI (return on investment) is rare or nonexistent. See also, Skill Training: 5 Keys to Becoming a More Caring Group.
  10. Your group has been meeting for 3 years (or 32 years) but no one ever changes. "You know me...I am what I am." See also, Essential Ingredients for Life-Change.

You can (with effort) combat this natural trend. What you ask your small group leaders to commit to do, as well as the habits of your small group leaders both play a significant role in whether your groups have life and life-change...or are zombies.  See also, 8 Habits of a Life-Changing Small Group Leader and 8 Commitments for Small Group Leaders.

I've written a post or two that have tackled a similar topic in the past. See also, I See Dead Groups and Design Your Group Meeting for Life-Change.

What do you think?  Have a question? Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Image by Eddy Berthier

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