Tag Archive - small

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10 Articles that will Help Your Church Make More Disciples

No matter what label you put on it “Discipleship,” “Spiritual Maturity,” or “Spiritual Formation” it’s one of the most argued over and misunderstood issues in the church today. After all just because you know a lot about Jesus doesn’t make you a disciple and on the other hand being in a Small Group or “Biblical Community” doesn’t necessarily make you a disciple either. Over the years I’ve actually written quite a bit on the topic. Below are some of my more popular posts on discipleship.

Choosing the Right Small Group Model for your Church

There are pros and cons to every groups models, but the goal of all of this group stuff in churches is to simply make disciples. Check out these different group models and choose the best model that fits the unique personality of your church.

6 Keys to Successful Small Groups

In a conversation Chris Surratt who runs SmallGroup.com and serves as a Ministry Consultant with the Unstuck Group he mentioned 6 great questions that churches should be talking about if they want to have a successful small group ministry.

How to Convince your Sr. Pastor to Join a Small Group

One of the most common points of frustration I hear from church leaders around the country is, “My Senior Pastor wants Small Groups to be a big deal at our church, but they won’t be in a Small Group themselves.” And the natural follow up question that’s asked right after that statement, “How do I get my Senior Pastor to be in a Small Group?” In an attempt to answer that question, here are a couple of steps you can take to help convince your Sr. Pastor that they need to be in a Small Group.

Who is Responsible for the Spiritual Maturity of the Church?

I hear complaints by church attenders across North America that their church is not, “deep enough.” Essentially they’re saying that they’re hungry. And you want to know the first thought that passes through my mind when I hear comments like these? “If you’re hungry, eat. You know where the food is.”

Making Small Groups the Hub of your Ministry

NorthCoast Church is an outlier when it comes to small groups and you need to get to know these guys. While the norm across the nation is hovering at about 50% of weekend worship attendance in groups, NorthCoast is shattering that norm and boasts just over 90% of their weekend worship attendance in groups. That was enough for us to get on a plane and spend some time learning from these guys. Here are a few of my take aways:

Why the Church Wins when the Church Staff are in a Small Group

You’re as lonely as you want to be. Yes, relationships are risky. Any time you entrust your heart with others there’s a chance that it won’t be handled well. And I understand that church leaders often feel pressure to perform and live up to unrealistic expectations of perfection. But if the church staff chooses to shrink back from vulnerability and authenticity in relationship with others then you’ll build a culture of superficial pretending in your church. That’s why when the church staff takes the risk and jumps into a small group bible study the whole church wins!

Your Church isn’t Deep Enough

In my work consulting with churches and coaching church leaders this, “it’s not deep enough” phrase is becoming more common. And honestly it concerns me. Not because the majority of churches aren’t deep enough, but rather that a majority of people who are trying to follow Jesus misunderstand what spiritual depth really looks like.

5 Ways to Help your Small Groups be Successful

Whether you are starting from scratch at a brand-new church plant or blowing up a large system at an existing church, there are some principles that can help set up your new plan for success down the road. Here are five guidelines to think through.

Why Churches Don’t Grow #3: No Spiritual Maturity Pathway

Many churches are stuck or declining not because they have a difficult time attracting or introducing new people to Jesus but because they have no plan in place to move people towards spiritual maturity or the plan they’re working is broken. Here are a couple of indicators that there is a breakdown somewhere in your spiritual maturity pathway:

A Couple of Statements about Spiritual Maturity that will Mess with You Part-1

Simply put…these ideas will challenge your thinking on what spiritual maturity looks like and acts like. Happy reading! Bonus: here’s Part-2 of that post.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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6 Keys to Successful Small Groups

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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5 Essential Tests for Churches who want to Grow

You may have heard that 90% of the 300,000 churches in America run 350 or fewer in attendance and that the average church size is 75 attendees (from Duke University’s National Congregations Study).

We know that thousands of pastors who want to reach more people with the love of Jesus can’t pinpoint exactly what’s holding their churches back. We’ve found that small and rural churches face some specific challenges for growth, and we want to start a conversation with you about those challenges and how to overcome them.

So, The Unstuck Group is partnering up with Church Community Builder to offer a free webinar to help you figure out why your church isn’t growing.

On Wednesday, May 13 at 1 p.m. EST, Tony Morgan, Mark Meyer, Steve Caton and Ty Bean will share some of the essentials to church growth they’ve witnessed firsthand while working with small and rural churches across the nation. There will even be time allotted for Q&A.

Follow this link to register and save your spot. Space is limited


Posted in Leadership

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If You Want to Grow, Stop Thinking Like a Small Church

For years we’ve been hearing (and seeing) that the average American church has fewer than 100 people in regular attendance. If you spend your time in ministry leadership circles, blogs and conferences, it would almost be easy to forget that the megachurch is a rather new phenomenon, and that hundreds of thousands of smaller churches are still engaged in ministry every week. To be sure, many are closing their doors for the final time every week, as well. But thousands are also launched each year, meeting in whatever space they can find, trying to reach the lost and grow and pursue their unique vision.

At The Unstuck Group, we talk to a lot of pastors from churches of all different sizes. We know firsthand that megachurches don’t have the “exclusive” on passion for reaching people with the love of Jesus. In fact, churches of different sizes have different strengths and challenges.

One of the growth-inhibiting habits most difficult for a smaller church to break is the habit of thinking like a small church.

And with that in mind, we have been working on a brand new consulting service for a while, and I’m excited to finally unveil it.

GrowthSolutions is our new service designed to help leadership teams at smaller churches who want to take intentional steps towards growing their church to 500 and beyond in weekly attendance. This consulting experience gives fresh perspective and tools to handle the challenges related to growth and health, strategic planning and maximizing resources.

We believe healthy things grow – in size, impact and effectiveness. (Sometimes unhealthy things grow, too — tumors come to mind. You don’t want to grow like that. A healthy church makes healthy disciples.)

We’ve already gotten started with about a dozen churches across the country and are looking forward to sharing their stories with you in the coming months!

Click Here to learn more about GrowthSolutions from The Unstuck Group.


Posted in Leadership