Recently Rick Howerton was asked a challenging question by some small group pastors and Rick responded by sending the question on to a number of small group pastors in order to get a broader perspective. Ready for the question? It might be yours, too!
They asked, “What are the markers for a healthy small group ministry. That is, when a small group pastor does her/his evaluation of the ministry, what are the list of things that that small group pastor should be measuring to determine how effective the ministry really is?”
Isn’t that a great question? I thought you’d think so. I also was sure you’d enjoy reading the responses. Really good stuff from a number of the sharpest minds in small group ministry. I got Rick’s permission to use the idea and asked each of the participants if they’d be willing to share with you. All of them said “yes!”
Here’s what Eddie Mosley had to say:
What are the markers for a healthy small group ministry at LifePoint Church?
LifePoint Church has five characteristics of a disciple toward which we point people: Worship, Biblical Community, Serving, Influence and Generosity.
We designed a survey tool, adapted from Steve Gladen’s Spiritual Health Assessment which helps the small group leader and coach know the strengths and weaknesses of the group and/or individual.
We also have three objectives specifically for small groups, which help the small group leader know what success is:
- Discipleship: Bible study at least twice a month, pray for the lost, worship personally and corporately and develop future leaders.
- Community: Host monthly socials and quarterly “influence” events, be accountable to one another and share the load of small group.
- Service: Encourage members to serve each other, the church, the community, and the world.
While these eight markers can measure effectiveness in a rather academic way (quantitative), we use stories to help guide our evaluation of groups toward these markers (qualitative). If we have not heard a story from a group in a while, there may be issues in the group. In addition, we listen for stories about service. Every group is expected to have a service project (on-going or annually which they work on during the year) and share about their experience. If a group does not have a service project and are not talking about finding one, there could be issues. This relational style of evaluation helps our coaches know with whom they may need to spend more time. To further emphasize the markers we celebrate what God is doing through quarterly small group luncheons.
As an added channel to share stories we use the communication report from ChurchTeams which includes attendance, meeting notes and prayer requests (providing both a quantitative and qualitative measurement).
Hope this helps!
Eddie Mosley, Executive Director of GroupLife, LifePoint Church
Thanks Eddie! If you want to find out more about Eddie’s ministry take a look at his blog at EddieMosley.com.
This is part three of a series. You can read part four right here. You can read part one right here. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of the remaining articles on Measuring Small Group Ministry Effectiveness you can subscribe to my blog right here.