6 things you need to know about small group ministry:
1. There is no problem-free small group strategy or system.
It really doesn't matter what system, strategy or model you choose. Every system, strategy or model comes with a set of problems. Wise leaders acknowledge there is no problem-free and simply choose the set of problems they'd rather have. The hunt for a problem-free solution may be the number one cause of ministry delay.
2. Your strategy or system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing.
Don't like the results you're experiencing? You must look at the design. Results are directly related to design. You may want to believe your results are a fluke; that they are related to the weather, or who was playing in the Super Bowl, or who won the election. But your results are produced by the design.
Results are directly related to design. You may want to believe your results are a fluke; that they are related to the weather, or who was playing in the Super Bowl, or who won the election. But your results are produced by the design. Click To Tweet
Want different results? Change the design.
See also, 5 GroupLife Dots You May Not Be Connecting.
3. There is no substitute for your senior pastor as small group champion.
There is no avoiding this reality. If you want to build a thriving small group ministry, the role of small group champion cannot be delegated. You may be able to connect the men and women in your church who are naturally inclined toward community (every church has a group of people who would connect even if it was illegal). But if you want to connect beyond the usual suspects, you will need your senior pastor, the most influential person in your church, to be the spokesperson for life in community.
4. Unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again.
This is my way of saying there is no tomorrow for some of the unconnected men and women in your crowd. Their window is closing. If you want to connect them to a small group, time really is of the essence. "We don't have enough qualified leaders" will not be an acceptable excuse.
5. Whatever you want to happen at the member level will have to happen to the leader first.
Doesn't it stand to reason? If you want your members to know that someone is praying for them, to know what it feels like to be prayed for, their leader will have to have already had that experience. If you want group members to be discipled, it will have to happen to their leader first. Bottom line? This almost always makes building an effective coaching structure an essential step.
6. You can't build a thriving small group ministry overnight.
Do not miss this. Building a thriving small group ministry requires a long term commitment. It happens over years of launching waves of new groups and sustaining a percentage of them. Season after season. Never wavering. Wash, rinse and repeat.
See also, Wash, Rinse, Repeat and the Long Run.
Small Group Ministry Basic Training is one of my most popular video courses. If you need core training in the seven skills every small group pastor or director must develop, this is a course you should take a look at. Find out more right here.
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