Introduction: Minimum Viable Product for Effective Small Group Ministry

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What is your minimum viable product? Ever thought about your small group ministry that way?

In this article I want to do three things:

  1. introduce and define the term minimum viable product (for small group ministry),
  2. provide a simple explanation for why you need to know your minimum viable product, and
  3. give you an assignment

My definition for minimum viable product for small group ministry

Here's a definition of minimum viable product for small group ministry:

Whether you are launching a new small group or a new small group ministry, what features are sufficient to satisfy initial users and accomplish its basic mission (what you will call success). See below for the term's origin.

Some example features would be:

  • What is the minimum training a new small group leader must have in advance?
  • What are the minimum standards required to be the leader of a group?
  • What promises do you make to both the leaders and members of new groups?

Why you need to know your minimum viable product

Determining your minimum viable product for small group ministry is helpful because it clarifies essentials.

In my mind, determining your minimum viable product produces conviction and provides peace of mind.

Determining your minimum viable product produces conviction about what you must provide in order to connect the greatest number of unconnected people with the least delay. This conviction provides clarity for decision-making and the answers you will need as you explain your philosophy to other leaders.

Determining your minimum viable product provides peace of mind in carrying out the strategy you have chosen. Having made the necessary choices, you will be able to confidently move forward.

Here's your assignment:

Take a stab at determining your minimum viable product for small group ministry.

Begin your process by determining the minimum viable product for a single new small group.

Use the comment feature below to share your MVP definition or ask a question.

In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries defined minimum viable product (MVP) as a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product's initial users.

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