Does your small group ministry system need to be refreshed? Or replaced?

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I'm regularly having this conversation now. Sometimes a small group pastor, but often a senior pastor, will ask for help and this will be their comment:

We don't know what to do! Our small group ministry needs a lot of help! We don't know if it can be salvaged!

Ever said something like that? Thought it?

When I ask the right questions I often discover that the real question concerns their small group ministry system. And what they're really wondering is,

Does our small group ministry system need to be refreshed? Or replaced?

And my answer? It depends on the stage your ministry is in.

Every ministry, program, organization, and event (even every small group or Bible study) has a life cycle.

In most models, there are four stages in an organizational life cycle:

  • Birth (accelerating)
  • Growth (booming)
  • Decline (decelerating)
  • Death (tanking)

As you might imagine, the four stages generate very different concerns and questions. For example, when your ministry is growing you ask different questions. You might have more sign-ups to join groups than you have leaders. Or you might have more people registered for an upcoming connection than you can fit into the room you've reserved.

On the flip side, when your ministry is declining, sign-ups for groups might be low for the 3rd semester in a row. More leaders might be "taking a break" than new leaders are emerging.

Refresh or Replace: How to Know What to Do

Does your small group ministry system just need to be refreshed? Or do you need to replace the system with one more aligned with your mission?

These are very good questions and difficult to answer without more information and real insight into the situation.

Although it may be time to schedule a 60 minute coaching call, your next step may be to review the following articles.

Further Reading:

7 Signs You Have the Wrong Small Group Ministry System

How to Choose a Small Group System or Strategy

Use My Signature 10 Point Checklist to Evaluate Your Small Group Ministry

How Are You Evaluating Your Small Group Ministry?

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