It’s hard work.
It’s not easy.
It’s a thrill ride.
But if your small group ministry is stuck, you need to do it. Just like your computer, it won’t get better while you watch it.
Here is my 5 step prescription:
1. A church-wide campaign provides a great opportunity to get your whole congregation on the same page.
At the same time, the right campaign can actually move your congregation onto an entirely new trajectory. Stuck and need to reboot? Choose a campaign that focuses on spiritual health, do the hard work of a campaign launch, and watch what happens. Two great campaigns are Transformed: How God Changes Us and What On Earth Am I Here For?
2. Cast vision to your existing groups to consider taking a small group vacation.
The essence of the small group vacation strategy is to challenge existing groups to not meet as a group, but instead pair up with another couple (a few singles, etc.) and launch three groups of four, all free to invite another six to eight unconnected friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
This challenge always works better when it is made by the senior pastor (who should also be the champion for small group ministry). When the challenge is made by the right person in the right way a much larger number will say yes to a 6 week test-drive.
Take a six-week test-drive and see how many of these new short-term groups are ready to continue!
See also, Take a Small Group Vacation!
3. Rethink the end in mind for your ideal small group.
This is a key step in the reboot process. Seeing clearly what your ideal group is like will help you cast vision for the kinds of experiences you want group members to have.
See also, The End in Mind for My Ideal Small Group.
4. Rethink the role of a small group leader.
In order to effectively reboot your small group ministry, you need to completely overhaul the way you think about small group leaders.
5. Rethink your small group coaching philosophy and practice.
This is a very critical step in the rebooting process. If it’s true that whatever you want to happen at the member level, will have to happen to the leader first…it only makes sense that your coaching structure is an essential ingredient.
Again, none of this is easy. Tackling all 5 of the above steps will consume you for a year. But guess what? Work it diligently and you’ll be on your way to a whole new destination.