How deeply do you believe what you believe (about connecting people and making disciples)?
Have you ever really thought through what you believe about small group ministry? How it works? Why you do what you do?
Ever found yourself waffling between on strategic initiative or another and really lack clarity about what makes the most sense?
Ever been questioned by an elder or another staff member about why you do certain things and not other things? And not really had a good answer?
Maybe it’s time to clarify your philosophy of ministry?
I’ve done a lot of work over the years refining the assumptions that shape my small group ministry strategy. And as if that hasn’t been work enough, I’ve also identified the ideas that have shaped my philosophy of ministry.
It’s important work, you know.
Two Very Important Things
A well-formed philosophy of ministry and a time-tested set of assumptions allow you to do two very important things:
First, a well-formed philosophy of ministry and a time-tested set of assumptions help clarify and strengthen your why
First, they help clarify and strengthen your why (your purpose, cause or belief). This is important because, as Simon Sinek points out in Start with Why, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Everyone knows what they do. Most know how they do it. A very few know why they do what they do.
I’ve begun saying,
We believe unconnected people are worth connecting. Helping many more step out of anonymity and into community is our dream. Click To Tweet
Now, you may not have ever thought this through, but a clarified and strengthened why makes your what more impactful.
On the other hand, the lack of a clear and strong why, makes it much more difficult to arrive at a preferred future.
Second, a well-formed philosophy of ministry and a time-tested set of assumptions make strategic decision-making simpler.
Second, they make strategic decision-making simpler. Every decision shouldn’t require a lengthy discussion. When your philosophy of ministry is clear and your assumptions are up-to-date, most decisions are very simple.
For example, when we’re making a decision about a potential new first step out of the auditorium, we ask a simple question. “Does this make the path to a group easier or more likely?”
Or, when we’re evaluating the effectiveness of a next step or first step, we ask a simple question, “Does this step lead to more people connected in groups?”
Or, when there is a discussion anywhere about the merits of a gathering in rows, it’s easy to respond, “We emphasize and prioritize connecting in groups because life-change happens best in circles, not in rows)
Have you ever done the work?
Wrestling your philosophy of ministry and your set of assumptions to the ground is important work. Have you ever done it?
Small Group Ministry 101 (SGM101)
This is why I’ve been so excited about my newest mini-course: Small Group Ministry 101 (SGM101). It will help you understand and clarify why you do what you do. Click here for more information about SGM101.