By Steve Gladen
Are you starting a small group ministry, or are you thinking of retooling an existing one? Here are some points you might want to consider before moving ahead --
Know where you are headed. When you look at a believer, a follower of Christ in your church, what is it you want them to look like, act like – what do you want them to “be”? Too many start a small group ministry because it’s the thing to do. It may not be the thing to do. Once you know what you want, then you can back up and decide what will get you there. At Saddleback Church, we want a follower of Christ to balance the Great Commission and Great Commandment. We want to see them “belonging” to Christ and His church, “growing” deeper in Him, “serving” God where they are gifted, “sharing” Christ and “surrendering” every aspect of their lives to God. That is Spiritual Health for us. See http://www.smallgroups.net/sha.html for our Spiritual Health Assessment. What do you want? Once we knew our “end in mind,” we asked the question - what would get us there? Our answer: Acts 5:42 … Weekend Services and Small Groups.
Find the lay of the land in your church. Talk to people. Talk to key opinion leaders in your church and go through step one above. Find the history of the church and the passion that made your church what it is today. What’s the heartbeat of your Lead Pastor? What makes him tick? What is his strategy related to point one above? Before you ask any of these questions, ask yourself, do I have the relational capitol to ask these questions. If you do, great! If you don’t, take the time to get to know the people who can help you answer these questions.
Who will run point? Paid or not paid isn’t the question—passion is the question. Who has the passion for the people in your church to become healthy followers of Christ? Who has the passion to build a delivery system to handle the people God will send your way? Who has devotion like David, as described in Psalms 78:72? Who has the humility of knowing it is not them but God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)? Who is willing to do whatever with the right attitude (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:2-4)? Who is called and willing to learn?
Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!