If it's true that "your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing," it follows that the results you are currently experiencing clearly indicate whether your design is the right one or the wrong one.
See where I'm going with this?
It makes sense, doesn't it? If you don't like the results you are currently experiencing, you must blame the design. It is not a fluke. Results are directly connected to design.
5 Signs Your Small Group Ministry Design is Inadequate
1. You can't find enough leaders.
If interest in joining a small group exceeds your ability to identify, recruit and develop small group leaders...you have an inadequate design. Remember, your results are an indication of the adequacy or correctness of the design. Right?
Therefore, the right design will produce an unlimited number of leaders and allow you to connect beyond 100% of your average adult weekend worship attendance.
2. You can't find enough coaches.
If you are not able to identify, recruit and develop an adequate number of high capacity candidates, it is most likely that your design has incorrectly characterized the critical nature of the role. Remember, your results are an indication of the adequacy or correctness of the design.
The best candidates are almost always already serving in some capacity and will need encouragement and release to move to the right seat on the bus. This is rarely an easy move and never without consequence. As Carl George pointed out, "leaders allocate the finite resources of the organization to the critical growth path." High capacity leaders might be the most finite of all resources and if the critical growth path includes a thriving small group ministry, the design must reflect wise reallocation of volunteers.
High capacity leaders might be the most finite of all resources and if the critical growth path includes a thriving small group ministry, the design must reflect wise reallocation of volunteers. Click To Tweet
3. Your percentage of connected adults is not increasing.
Many of us know this reality. We find some new leaders and launch some new groups only to discover that some leaders decide to take a break or move away and some groups are always ending. In a way our ministries are treading water.
A number of design elements can be responsible for a stuck percentage:
- A doubtful or conflicted senior pastor
- a bloated belong and become menu
- indecision about the best next step;
- a myopic understanding of the culture
- a leadership development disconnect
4. You are connecting unconnected people but not making disciples.
A pattern of launching new groups and connecting lots of unconnected people every year without the lagging indicators that evidence a growing number of disciples, is an indication that your design is inadequate.
5. You are making disciples but not connecting unconnected people.
Some inadequate designs have the opposite issue. They can point to a trickle of new disciples on an annual basis but express frustration at the inability to attract the congregation and crowd to the disciple-making process. While it is true that few will choose the narrow gate, the right design will maximize the opportunity to choose it.
Need help with the design process? Design, Build and Sustain a Thriving Small Group Ministry (2020 Version) might be just what you need. Find out more about this online mini-course right here.