The First Question Every Small Group Pastor Must Answer

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What do you think the first question is?  Any ideas?

I think the first the question is, “What business am I in?” And I know for some that is an almost shocking idea.  After all, are we really in a business?  If that’s you…you might want to think of it as, “What am I trying to do?”

Either way, you must think carefully about this first question and answer it with absolute clarity.  Clarity is important if you expect to ever know whether you’re succeeding…or not.

Now, you need to know that there are several viable answers to the question.  You might conclude that you are in the business of making disciples.  Sounds reasonable.  Right?

Or you might decide that you are in the business of identifying and developing disciple-makers.  After all, if you want to make disciples, you’ll need to figure out a way to find an increasing number of the sort of men and women who live and breathe to replicate themselves.  Again, sounds reasonable.  Right?

Or you might land on the conclusion that you are in the business of connecting way beyond the usual suspects.  Maybe even helping people at crowd’s edge–the least connected to the church with the strongest connections to the community–discover ways to include their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers; helping them take their first steps to connecting.

Three Issues You Must Be Aware Of:

Is there a right answer?  I can’t speak for you.  But I can tell you there are three issues you must be aware of:

  1. Indecision about the business you’re in, especially the pursuit of problem-free, delays real impact.  Carefully and intentionally determining the business you are in brings clarity and measurable impact.
  2. Try to be in the business of “all of the above” and you’ll end up doing nothing.  Focus is the key to impact.  Much like the difference between a laser and a table lamp.  Both bring light.
  3. Waffle from one business to the next and then back (or onto a third) and you’ll end up confusing your team.  After all, much like a sport, every distinct business has its own rules, its own way of keeping score.

So how do you answer that question?  What business are you in?  Have you found your answer?

Here’s The Second Question Every Small Group Pastor Must Answer

Want do you think? Have a question? Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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  1. Pastor Rod Kesselring on October 31, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Mark This has been a a burning question for me since the 12 conference.  I realize that as a ministry we were in the wrong business.  I thought our ministry was about creating community,  but I have since changed to realize we are creating disciples.  The interesting thing I see in your post is that you see making disciples and identifying and developing disciple makers as different.  How do you see this as different?  IMHO a true disciple will become a disciple maker as well.  what are your thoughts?

  2. Anonymous on October 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for jumping in here Rod! First of all, I agree that a true (authentic) disciple will become a disciple maker. That is definitely part of the definition. However, it happens every day and all the time that small group ministries focus on quantitative measurements that miss the mark they’d like to hit. Can you see how ministries focusing on disciple-makers might have a different way of measuring?

  3. Pastor Rod Kesselring on October 31, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Absolutely,  Just wanting to make sure I was seeing the full scope of the question.  BTW Small Groups…Big Impact has been really powerful in helping to clarify this question

  4. Curt Trotter on November 23, 2011 at 10:21 am

    great post!  great question! thanks for the thought challenge.

  5. Anonymous on November 23, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for jumping in here Curt! Hope you’ll come along for the conversation!