Does your church have unrealistic expectations for adding small groups? In some cases, churches want to shoot for the moon when it comes to the number of groups, but the requirements they place on new leaders keeps their mission grounded.

The number of requirements for prospective leaders is inversely proportional to the number of prospective leaders a church will recruit. Simple put – more requirements mean fewer prospective leaders, and fewer requirements mean more prospective leaders. You can’t have high requirements and an overabundance of new prospective leaders. It just doesn’t work.

Over the years, I’ve had conversations with several small group pastors who had the same thing in common – they were all former small group pastors at the same church. They all left for the same reason. In theory the senior pastor wanted everyone who attended the church in a small group. The problem was there weren’t enough groups for all of the church’s members. The requirements placed on new leaders created a strangle hold on the church’s ability to recruit. Every leader had to be a member of the church, but there weren’t enough members of the church interested in leading groups. Considering the church had a high percentage of people who were not in groups and a relatively low percentage of people who qualified as leaders, the small group pastors faced an impossible situation and eventually a new career. The senior pastor needed to either lower his expectation for how many people should be connected into groups or lower the requirements for small group leadership (at least temporarily). After several conversations with this pastor’s former small group pastors, my sense is that the pastor is really not serious about connecting his church into groups. (If this sounds like you, call me. I can help.)

How realistic are your church’s expectations on small groups?

Allen White helps Take the Guesswork Out of Groups. We offer booksonline coursescoaching groups, and consulting.