There are certain things every small group pastor needs to know from the very beginning. These things are only discovered by asking great questions. See also, 5 Things Every Small Group Pastor Needs to Know on Day 1.
There are also questions that should never be asked. For the most part, they’re just the wrong questions! Asking them sometimes betrays a misunderstanding of success. Other times the very fact that the question is asked indicates a misguided assumption.
Questions Small Group Pastors Should Never Ask
- What is the minimum percentage connected we should accept? This is the wrong question. Small group systems that are designed to connect 50% or 80% or even 100% of the average weekend adult attendance miss the fact that most churches have a much larger number of adults than attend on an average weekend. See also, What Percentage of Your Adults Are Actually Connected?
- How can we ensure only the most qualified leader candidates end up leading groups? Holding out for the most qualified candidates actually ensures that you’ll rarely have enough leaders (or that you’ll attain a high percentage connected). See also, Small Group Ministry Myth #4: High Leader Requirements Ensure the Safety of the Flock.
- Which small group model is problem-free? The pursuit of problem-free delays more ministry than almost anything else. Wise leaders simply identify the problems that come with each model and choose the set of problems they’d rather have. See also, The Pursuit of Problem-Free.
- How can I personally provide care for my small group leaders? Once a small group ministry has more than 5 to 10 groups this is the wrong question. In order to avoid violating span of care constraints, an appropriate coaching structure needs to be built. This allows the small group pastor to care for coaches and coaches to provide care for leaders. See also, How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure.
- What is the best way to place new members in existing groups? Wrong question every time. The best practice is to train your existing leaders to fish for new members while focusing your attention on launching new groups. See also, Critical Decision: Add Members to Existing Groups vs. Start New Groups and Skill Training: Top 10 Ways to Find New Group Members.
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