Yesterday I wrote that, "Building a thriving small group ministry requires a certain mindset. It also requires the development of a very particular set of practices."
I also noted that, "You can have the practices alone and not have what it takes to persevere at building a thriving small group ministry."
The truth is without the mindset, you will always fall short. Without the mindset, it will always be easier to give up (or give up and try again somewhere else).
Why? Because it's almost never your skill set that keeps you from breaking through barriers. Instead, it's almost always your mindset.
Want to break through the barrier that's preventing you from exceeding 100% connected in groups? Or maybe, stuck at 35% you'd like to break the 50% barrier? It probably doesn't actually have much to do with your skill set (although understanding how to use the small group connection strategy or the church-wide campaign strategy can't hurt).
Most of the time, when you need to break through a barrier, it almost always has to do with mindset.
Want a new mindset? I've found it's mostly about believing the right things and asking the right questions.
What are the right things to believe? Here's what I believe:
- Unconnected people are worth connecting. Helping many more step out of anonymity and into community is our mission.
- Spiritual infants and toddlers are worth investing in. Helping them grow to maturity and learning to invest in others is our mission.
- God is able to do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." What we think can happen...is not even close to what God can do.
- The most effective strategies we've ever discovered...are never more than a shadow of what could be (and will be).
- What has gotten us to where we are currently...will not get us to where we dream of being.
SometimesOften the thing that seemed impossible yesterday is closer every day to being reality. See also, Where Do You Want to Go with Your Small Group Ministry?
What are the right questions? Here are 5 of my favorites:
1. What’s the best way to…?
I picked this up recently from Andy Stanley. Works great when you’re stuck with legacy solution that just isn’t working very well any more (from Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast, Introducing Change).
2. How might we…?
I got this one from Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO (from The Secret Phrase Top Innovators Use).
3. What would have to be true for that approach to work? Or, “for the idea on the table to be a fantastic option?”
I love these two questions from Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management (p. 12, The Design of Business).
4. What are we not doing that we should start doing right away? What should we immediately stop doing in order to allow for the emergence of the new?
Bill Taylor, a co-founder of Fast Company, is a great source of ideas like this. (p. 123, Practically Radical)
5. What 21st-century challenges are testing the design limits of our ______ strategy? Also, What are the limitations of our model that have failed to keep up with the times?
Gary Hamel has been called “the world’s leading expert on business strategy.” (from The Future of Management)
Image by Loozrboy