(This is part 6 of a 7 part series. You can read part 1 right here)
If I knew then what I know now...I'd work harder to make heroes out of the right people. That is, I'd carefully select the stories I'd make a big deal out of...and I'd make a big deal out of them all the time.
Don't miss this: I'd actually take this one giant step further by making it a priority to always have a great hero-making story to pass on to my senior pastor. And I'd make sure I found a way to tell it to my senior pastor every week.
Flashback to 2000: When I began as the small group "pastor" at Fellowship of the Woodlands, I was a volunteer. I was between ministry jobs and we had begun attending Fellowship, loved it, and had ended up being asked to lead their small group ministry as a volunteer.
There were plenty of afternoons in 2000 and 2001 when I stopped by the church in time to meet Pastor Kerry as he left for the day. Walking to his car was my uninterrupted moment to tell him my latest story.
How does all this apply to you and your small group ministry?
Think about your church and the constant flow of people who are recognized (from the platform, on your website or newsletter, and in one-on-one conversations).
Question: How closely do the people who are recognized match your vision? Ever done a case by case assessment and kept score? At first glance, you might think that'd be overkill. But I really believe if you slow down long enough to think through the last 3 or 4 Sundays (or watch the next 3 or 4) you'll begin to see a pattern. And you won't necessarily like the pattern.
Need an example? Here you go: Let's say that you dream of being a church "of" groups, where nobody stands alone, and you really believe that life-change happens best in a small group context. With me? Beyond that, let's say that you've committed to the idea that every program ought to lead to an opportunity to move in the direction of connecting people together in life-changing relationships.
Still with me?
Two things ought to happen if that's you.
- Success in every program ought to be measured by how effectively it produced those kinds of connections.
- You should only be talking about the leaders of those programs that are winning on that measurement.
What would change if you committed to that idea?
What would change if you committed to that idea? When you think back for the last 3 or 4 weeks would it change who you made a big deal out of publicly or privately? If you entered a season where you consistently determined who you held up as heroes by how effectively they were living out the specifics of your vision...do you think it would influence behavior?
Want to act on the idea? Get serious and go back over the last 3 or 4 weeks. Then, begin to carefully monitor who you're talking about and how you're talking about them. While you're at it, check out Paul's language in Romans 16. I think you'll see what I'm talking about!
Image by Kristin Dos Santos