Is small group ministry the unsung hero in your church? You work hard at recruiting leaders to never have enough leaders. You move heaven and earth to place people in groups only to discover they don’t show up. You know that small groups are the most effective means to fulfilling the church’s mission of making disciples, yet you can rarely get “airtime” in the weekend service. If you feel stuck, there are some very good reasons why.
Fifteen years ago my groups were stuck. I had worked for seven years to connect all of our people into groups. After handpicking every possible leader that I knew, we only had 30% of our adults in groups. None of our groups were multiplying. Our weekend attendance continued to grow, but our groups did not. And then, something changed, I joined a coaching community.
In three weeks, we doubled our groups. Six months later we doubled them again! We went from having 30% in groups to having nearly 40% of our adults lead a group for at least one six-week series. When it was all said and done, we had 125% of our weekend attendance in groups and 13% of our adults leading on-going groups. What would that look like in your church?
Learn the best practices from over 1,500 churches. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Allen White has drawn some proven principles from a wide variety of churches: different denominations and styles of worship, regional differences, various sized churches, culturally and ethnically diverse, and even churches with Sunday school. If you are ready to double, triple, or quadruple your groups, these strategies will get you there. As a learning community, a group of five churches will work together to learn these principles and learn from each other.
Customize these strategies to your unique situation. Every church is different. There is something unique about you or else your church wouldn’t be necessary. Groups in your church won’t necessarily look exactly like groups in another church. You already have a history of groups. Maybe what you were doing didn’t get everybody into groups, but it worked for some of your folks. There is a way to get more people into groups without wrecking what you’ve already built. In monthly one-on-one meetings with Allen, you will adjust the best practices to fit your church’s needs and directions.
Interact with a community of like-minded small group folks. Wouldn’t it be great to spend time with people who speak your language. Your staff team can engage with you on groups, but not to the level of people who live, breathe, eat, and sleep groups like you do. The coaching community offers a regular time to discuss ideas about groups and learn from other churches. You won’t need to defend why small groups are important, everybody in this group already believes that.
Invest in Yourself. You can read books, attend conferences, or even seek an advanced degree — and maybe you should. But, for about the same money as a conference, you can receive a full year of coaching. Honestly, I wish every day was a conference. You get so filled with vision and so inspired, but when you get home, you soon discover that reality stinks. What if you could spread that conference out for an entire year and have the “speaker” walk alongside you as you build the future of your ministry? No conference will give you that.
2020 could be the year you connect more people into groups, make more disciples, equip more people for ministry, and reach your community like never before.
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