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6 Keys to Successful Small Groups

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The other day the consulting team at the Unstuck Group was having a conversation about how to help churches get unstuck when it comes to the disciple-making ministry at their church. In particular we were discussing Small Groups. In the conversation Chris Surratt who runs SmallGroup.com and serves as a Ministry Consultant with the Unstuck Group mentioned 6 great questions that churches should be talking about if they want to have a successful small group ministry.

#1 Is the Sr. Pastor a Champion for Groups?

The churches that I’ve observed that have best small group ministries have a Sr. Pastor that isn’t just a public fan of groups but they are personally in a group. They lead with moral authority by not just saying do as I say but they personally model biblical community in groups. Having a hard time convincing your Sr. Pastor to join a group? Then follow this link to a post that will help.

#2 What’s the Competition?

Churches that have a ministry menu mentality usually have the most difficult time building a successful groups ministry. The more ministry opportunities that you offer such as midweek classes, prayer services, and so on the more choices people have. The more choices they have the less likely they’re going to choose being in a group. By offering a ministry menu churches are unknowingly undermining their group ministry.

#3 Is there a Key Leader?

Who wakes up everyday thinking about Groups at your church? It doesn’t have to be a full-time staff member; it could be a high level volunteer leader. But either way one thing that all churches that find success in their groups ministries have in common is a key point person who is responsible for groups.

#4 What’s the Win?

At the end of the day what are the expectations for groups at your church? What are you hoping happens through groups? What’s the point of groups at your church? Put a clear target on the wall and then build a plan to move towards it.

#5 Is it in the Budget?

Just like you can tell what’s important to a person by looking at their “check book” you can tell what’s important to a church by what they resource and budget for. Churches that find success in their groups ministry budget for success.

#6 Is it Scalable?

Is it easy for new people to get into a group? Do you have enough leaders to accommodate new groups that are starting? Do you have experienced group leaders who can offer coaching to leaders who are just starting out? If the answer to questions like these are no then you’ve got a system issue somewhere and you’re going to have a difficult time scaling as the church grows.

By the way, follow this link if you’re interested in picking up Chris’s new book Small Groups for the Rest of Us.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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