Yesterday I posted a tweet that brought about some good dialogue. I don’t know that sparking a conversation was my intent but that’s exactly what happened. My tweet was simply a stream of consciousness kid of thing as I was thinking about the ministry of Small Groups.
I tweeted, “If you want to make your small group work, you’re gonna have to work your small group”.
Now, I’m no Small Group guru. I’ve been a part of a few small groups that thrived and also part of a few that went over like a led balloon. I’ve seen the good, bad, ugly and flat out indifferent when it comes to Small Groups Ministry and it’s something that I’ve recently made a personal commitment to growing in as a Church leader because I believe they are the life-blood of fellowship within the New Testament Church and I truly believe that life really is better together.
All that said, let me elaborate on yesterdays tweet and hopefully, if you are a Small Group / SS / Bible Study / Ministry leader this might help you see what I mean when I say the “if you want your small group to work, you’re gonna have to work your small group”.
Working Your Small Group Means A Personal Commitment To Excellence
Leading a Small Group well is work. Lots of it. Now anybody can wing it but I’ll promise you that the group you lead can tell if you aren’t prepared and in time, no matter how bright the flame was when the group launched…it will fizzle out. Small Groups that work are led by men and women who’ve committed themselves to leading with excellence.
2. Working A Small Group Means Personal Passion
I’ve got a friend that is passionate about EVERYTHING he does. I mean everything. If we’re fishing, he’s all in. If we’re hunting, he’s 100%. If we’re playing a game of 21 on the basketball court, look out. My friend oozes passion and you know what? It’s contagious. On more than one occasion, my fired up friend has inspired me to be passionate about things that I’m normally half-hearted on.
Small Groups that work are led by people who are genuinely passionate about what they are doing. They must be because the life of a Small Group is like pretty much everything else, there will be ups and downs. In order to push through those “downs”, often the group has to feed of the passion of their leader.
Sound like a lot of responsibility? It is. That, my friend, is the price of leadership!
3. Working A Small Group Means Personal Vulnerability
Small Groups that thrive are led by people who are an open book. There’s a trust and bond that accompanies authenticity within the context of a small group that is simply wonderful. Small Group leaders should be comfortable in their own skin and open about their own victories and defeats. The level of vulnerability the Small Group leader has will undoubtedly set the tone for the rest of the group.
4. Working A Small Group Means Personal Vision, Vision, Vision
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no VISION, people perish (go their own way)”
When we think vision, we typically think big but make no mistake, without a clear vision AND clearly communicated vision, the small group will perish (and that death is ugly, too). Great Small Group leaders have a clear calling and know where they want to take their group.
5. Working A Small Group Means Personal Investment
If you want your small group to thrive, you’ve got to be willing to pour yourself into it. That means making a call when a member has been absent, opening your home to class members, going out of your way to invite prospective Small Group members to join in, doing life AWAY from the church (I can’t stress this enough…a small group that only see’s one another within the four walls of the church once a week is not healthy. At all). Personal investment also means stepping up and showing the group what servant leadership looks like…BE the example. Leading well is a personal investment.
6. Working A Small Group Means NEVER SETTLING.
If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a thousand times: A Small Group is started, gets a core group, does relatively well and then settles. The Core Group becomes a click and all are just happy to survive rather than thrive. A healthy small group never settles. They are constantly looking to grow spiritually and numerically, send out members to start other small groups, to find new ways to keep things fresh. You see it in their actions and hear it in their prayers.
NEVER settle. Ever. Dead things are still. Living things grow.
There are 1000’s more ways to build a healthy small groups. This little blog doesn’t really even scratch the surface. How about you? What are some things you are doing to bring vibrancy to your Small Group / Bible Study / SS Class / Ministry?