Yesterday we began a detailed look at what I believe are the top 5 small group ministry roadblocks; the things that stand in the way of a truly thriving small group ministry. We began with a look at roadblock #1: a doubtful or conflicted senior pastor. See also, 10 Powerful Benefits of a Thriving Small Group Ministry.
Small Group Ministry Roadblock #2: A Bloated Belong and Become Menu
Today I want to point out what I believe is another powerful roadblock: a bloated belong and become menu. Maybe a little explanation would help us get started.
What I refer to as the "belong and become menu" you may call the discipleship and fellowship menu. You might also think of it as the connect and grow menu.
No matter what you call it, if it's bloated with too many options it is ineffective, at best.
A few clues that you have a problem:
Here are a few important clues that you have a bloated belong and become menu:
- Instead of a single way to get connected, there are 4 or 5 (or even more).
- Instead of a single delivery system for both connecting people and making disciples, there are two or more separate pathways.
- When I take a look at your website, it's hard to choose between an off-campus couples small group, an on-campus Precepts Bible study, and a missional community.
- When I stop by your guest information center, I find myself lost in the panels of the trifold brochure, unable to decide which option would be best for me (especially when I factor in the time commitments, cost to register, and childcare availability.
Sound familiar? Why is this a roadblock? It turns out that too many choices is demotivating. Trust me...you might be the kind of person that really enjoys a wide selection, but it has been conclusively demonstrated that narrowing the available options actually increases the likelihood of choosing.
Too many choices is demotivating. Trust me...you might be the kind of person that really enjoys a wide selection, but it has been conclusively demonstrated that narrowing the available options actually increases the likelihood of choosing. Click To Tweet
Solution #1: Limit the number of items on the menu.
If you have 5 options, trim the list to 2 or 3. Can't make that move? Limit promotion during prime connecting season to the single best option and reformat the others to function as additional steps in the path (as opposed to making a Luby's style cafeteria approach the standard).
Solution #2: Redesign available menu options
Redesign available menu options to function as both connecting and discipleship opportunities.Eliminate either/or options. Highlight both/and options.
Easy? No. Actually packed with high risk operations. Still, at the end of the day a very productive operation and removing roadblock #2 well worth the struggle. It won't happen easily or overnight, but the steady and gradual repurposing of the menu is an essential step.
You can read about roadblock #3 right here.
What do you think? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
Image by TakoChen