encourage the exploration of scripture
In last week’s post, I described a particular leader training tension which existed at my multi-campus church of 5000. Do know, I’ve been on the other side too. At my first church out of seminary, I was charged with launching a small groups ministry from scratch. Zero groups. Zero group leaders.
When it comes to groups ministry, there are several challenges smaller churches (under 200) face that their larger sister churches do not. Here’s a short list, plus one worthy of special note.
But I believe one challenge, particular to small churches, is the most dangerous. It’s one that is almost always created by a senior leader with either the gift of encouragement, a poor understanding of small group ministry, or both. In a desire to champion groups, the senior leader baptizes every gathering and ministry less than 50 people as a “small group”. Regardless of how often it meets. Regardless of why it meets. Regardless of what happens at the meeting. Regardless of who leads it. This lack of differentiation is a killer, and it will suck the momentum out of your small group ministry.
Small church leaders, be encouraged. Next week’s article will focus on the inherent advantages a small church has over a large church when looking to launch a groups ministry. But do note, large churches rarely have to launch groups from scratch. Groups are one of the main reasons they became large churches in the first place.