Clue #5 When Designing Your Small Group System

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When you pull out of the driveway to head out on a long trip…are you the type to have it all planned out?  Rest stops.  Miles-per-day.  Where you’re going to eat.  Where you’ll stop along the way.

Or do you make it up as you go along?

If you’re the plan-the-whole-thing-out type…you’re going to get this clue right away.  If you’re the make-it-up-as-you-go-along type…you’re going to have to break a pattern.  It will be worth it though.  This is a really big clue to designing your small group ministry.

This diagram is one I use all the time.  In fact, if you’re planning on catching Twelve 2011 (Saddleback’s online GroupLife conference on September 14-15), you’ll see how it applies to personal spiritual growth.  Today…I want to show you three important applications:

  1. In one of my favorite quotes, Andy Stanley points out that “Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you’re currently experiencing.”  The “Present” in the diagram represents the way things are in your small group ministry.  Effective or ineffective communication.  A surplus of leaders or a shortage of leaders.  Life-change stories or a lack there of.  Whatever your small group ministry is producing…is a direct result of its design.
  2. Albert Einstein said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  I like to point out that if nothing changes in the design of your ministry (how you launch groups, who can lead, how engaged your senior pastor is as champion, etc.) you’ll almost certainly land in a very predictable “probable future.”
  3. If you want to move in a new direction (towards a “preferred future”) you will have to move over to a new trajectory.  As I’ve pointed out in the past, the well-worn path never arrives at a new destination.  In addition, I should point out that it is not easy to move over to a new trajectory.  It can be done…but it takes energy.  After all, in most cases you’ve been on your current trajectory for a long time.  Think of it like a deeply ingrained rut.  If you want to get out of that rut…you will have to expend a lot of energy to climb out.  And…this is really important…it will take focus to keep from slipping back into the rut you pull yourself out of.  You can stay on the new trajectory…but it will take constant attention.

Did you miss an earlier clue in my series?  You can read Clue #1 right here.

(This diagram is the basis for one of my requested on-site sessions.  Click here to find out about my consulting and coaching programs).

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