Working On vs Working In…Your Ministry

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What have you done this week that’s had the most impact?  Was it meeting a small group leader for coffee?  Writing this week’s sermon-based study for the groups following the message?  How about the conversation you had with the new couple looking for a group right after the 11:00 a.m. service?

What have you done this week that’s had the most impact?

First of all, I get that your individual wiring plays a big part in your specific answer.  Where you personally have the greatest impact is influenced by your wiring or your SHAPE.  That’s true.

Working In Your Ministry

But…and this is really important…all of those examples are what I’d call working in your ministry.  That is, you’re personally investing in a coach or a leader or a potential member.  And that’s great.  And you may feel satisfaction in knowing that the individual coach benefited or that leader benefited or that potential member benefited.  But that’s almost never the most important thing you do.

Working On Your Ministry

Leaders of small group ministries have their greatest impact when they’re working on their ministry.

  • Impact the System: When you as the small group champion invest time clarifying what a win is for your ministry you’re investing in an activity that can impact the whole system.
  • Influence Neighborhoods: When you as the point person invest time designing the steps that lead to a larger HOST sign-up, you’re investing in an activity that can influence neighborhoods.
  • Transform Cities: When you as the small group pastor/director invest time in the conversations that lead to your missions pastor and missions team re-thinking the way local mission outreach is done, making it possible for whole groups to serve together, you’re investing in an activity that can transform cities.

I really want to encourage you to think this way and to design your week this way.  If you’re not giving time every week to working on the small group ministry in your church…you’re missing your opportunity to have the greatest impact on the largest number of people for the longest period of time.

Work on your ministry so that you can impact the system, influence neighborhoods, and transform cities.  I really believe there is a Parable of the Talents, Parable of the Minas, truth to this.  For the greatest impact, the greatest return, invest your time and your energy in working on your ministry.

Resource:  I really think that reading The 7 Practices of Effective Ministry could be one of the most effective things you do in the next few weeks.  If you haven’t read this important ministry tool by Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner, it’s time to make the investment.  If you’ve already read it but you’re spending most of your time working in your ministry…it’s time to take it down from the shelf and read it again.  Maybe with your team!

Comments?  Does this make sense?  I’d love to know what you think about this challenge! You can jump into the conversation by clicking right here.

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  1. Jim Mandra on January 14, 2011 at 8:44 am

    One more visitor to your blog;) I’m thankful to have met you and have you as our small group leader…

  2. Mark Howell on January 14, 2011 at 8:50 am

    You’re a gift! So glad you joined the group!