What Will You Call Success?

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When you think about your small group ministry…would you say you’re winning or losing?  Are you succeeding at what you’re doing?  Or failing?

This is a very important question.  No doubt you’re already asking it!  In fact, that’s probably why you’re here reading this article right now.  So…back to the question…are you winning or losing at your small group ministry?

Most of us probably hedge and say, “It depends.”  What does it depend on?  The answer to the question depends on what if anything is being measured.  After all, you can’t have a winner or loser unless you’re measuring something.  So the first question should be, “What business are you in?”  If you answer that question you’re in a much better position to answer the second one.

So what business are you in?  When you think about your small group ministry, what is it that you are really trying to do?  And most of us have a kind of answer for that question.  Some of us right away would say, “We’re trying to help people connect.”  Roughly translated that means they’re focusing on the purpose of fellowship.

Some would say, “We’re helping people grow spiritually.  We’re trying to make disciples.”  We might say they’re working on the purpose of discipleship.  And still others would say, “We’re trying to help people balance the purposes (fellowship, discipleship, worship, ministry, and evangelism).”  Can you see how all of these answers are an answer to the question, “What business are you in?”

With me so far?  If you’re still with me, we’re now ready to talk about whether you’re succeeding or failing.  Only after you’ve declared what business you’re in are you able to determine whether you’re winning.  For example, if you say, “We’re in the business of making disciples,” then you’ll need to have a way of measuring whether you’re doing that or not.  How can you do that?  You might start by determining what a disciple would do.  You might think about how they would live their daily life.  How would they invest their time, talent and treasure?  What would their priorities be?  You could develop a picture of how Jesus would be like if he spent a day with you.  How would he treat people?  What would he value?  What kinds of things would he find time to do?

To determine whether you’re winning or losing, you first must determine the business you are in.

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1 Comment

  1. Jay Daniell on July 15, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Thanks, Mark! I needed to think about this today. Thanks