I'm often asked, "How do you determine what's next for your small group ministry?"
Here's how I think about what's next:
First, I begin with a honest evaluation of how it is going right now.
I am convinced that Andy Stanley is right when he says, "Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing." These are the facts and they are undisputed.
Why start there? Easy. Before I plan what's next I need to think about how it is actually going right now (i.e., is our current strategy or plan working?). It's important to look at what you are doing through the lens of "is what we are doing actually working?"
If you care about where you are going you must begin with an honest appraisal of how well or poorly your strategy is working.
Second, I look again and again at the preferred future we have identified.
We talk about our preferred future many ways, but it always includes the following:
- We want to have more adults in groups than we have attend a worship service on the weekend.
- We must focus on making disciples as we connect unconnected people.
- We want to make as easy as possible for people to step into leadership and nearly automatic that they step onto a leader development conveyor belt.
There are certainly other aspects to our preferred future, but these are preeminent. When we've thought well about the preferred future we dream of, we are forced to view our current results through this lens: Is what we are doing actually working?
Third, I determine which aspects of our preferred future could be attained next.
This is important and it is often overlooked. While connecting more adults in groups is certainly an aspect of our preferred future, it is not the only one.
- We should be determining what we can do in the short term to make more and better disciples.
- We should be determining what we can do in the short term to make it easier to step into leadership and more automatic that new leaders step onto a leader development conveyor belt.
I refer to this as keeping one eye on the preferred future and the other eye on the next milestone. Maintaining focus on the end in mind, using preferred future language to cast vision for the promised land is a non-negotiable. Milestones that are clearly visible in the near future enable your team to stay focused and encouraged.
Maintaining focus on the end in mind, using preferred future language to cast vision for the promised land is a non-negotiable. Milestones that are clearly visible in the near future enable your team to stay focused and encouraged. Click To Tweet
How are you determining what's next for your small group ministry?
Can you see it? Are you seeing your preferred future clearly enough? Are you honestly evaluating how it's going right now? Are you determining aspects that are attainable in the short term?
Design, Build and Sustain a Thriving Small Group Ministry might be my most popular video course. It's based on my most requested and most popular workshop, and draws more positive comments and rave reviews than anything else I talk about. You can find out more about it right here.
- 8 Things I Know about Making Disciples in Groups
- 5 Things that Point to a Change in Small Group Strategy
- 5 Keys to Arriving at Your Preferred Future
- Have You Identified Milestones that Lead to Your Preferred Future?
Image by Emma Story