Home Small Group Leaders Articles for Small Group Leaders The Signature of Small Group Ministry Mediocrity

The Signature of Small Group Ministry Mediocrity

“Small groups just don’t work here,” they said.  When I asked them what they meant they described a history of flipping from one small group strategy to another, year after year, caught up in the enthusiasm of this conference or that new book.

Sound familiar?  Can you identify?

The looming challenge for many is that the big issue isn’t resistance to change.  Instead, the biggest issue is chronic inconsistency (flipping from one strategy to another).

“The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change; the signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.”  Jim Collins, Great by Choice

When I’m asked for help in choosing a small group system or strategy, I’ve always found it important to first wrestle with three guiding questions:

  1. What will success look like?
  2. Is the win you’ve identified attainable given the current assumptions about things like membership requirements for leaders, attention span of senior leadership, and your congregation’s willingness to prioritize group life?
  3. Who will be your customer?
You can waste a lot of time chasing the latest small group ministry fad.  Far better to first work your way through these three essential questions and then choose on the basis of your findings.  I go into greater length in my article, How to Choose a Small Group System or Strategy.  You’ll find additional help in my two part article on small group models.

Want do you think?  Want to argue?  Jump into the conversation.