5 Things That Keep Me Up at Night

There are things that bother me enough to keep me up at night. Or wake me up in the middle of the night.

What kind of things? I have to admit that I’m rarely woken up thinking about things for which I have no responsibility. World peace? The state of the economy? ISIS? Never lay awake worrying.

But things for which I am accountable … I sometimes am awakened by those kinds of things.

Here are five things that keep me up at night:

1. Are we doing the right things to connect as many unconnected people as we can? If I am deeply passionate about anything, this is it for me. I am constantly aware that unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at our church again. And I know that every unconnected person in our crowd has a finite window of time when they are most receptive to connecting. And that window is always closing for some. And I want to be a good steward of every opportunity. See also, What’s Your Urgency Level for Connecting Unconnected People?

2. Are we really making disciples? At the same time, while connecting unconnected people is the first step, it is not enough. I long for them to move from connecting, from a sense of belonging, to growing in Christ. To becoming disciples. How tragic to belong but never become a mature disciple! See also, Top 10 Posts on Discipleship and Making Disciples in Groups.

3. Are we identifying and recruiting the right people to join our coaching team? Are we really setting our sights on high capacity men and women who love Jesus deeply and are passionate about shepherding small group leaders? Or are we settling for available. For warm and willing when only hot and qualified will have the kind of impact that changes the lives of leaders so they can change the lives of members? See also, 6 Essential Characteristics of an Effective Small Group Coach.

4. Are we doing TO and FOR (and WITH) our coaches the things we want the members of our groups to experience? Or are we settling for what our coaches will do by default? Emailing instead of calling or meeting for coffee? Letting a voicemail suffice? Avoiding the harder conversations or the time consuming discipleship issues? See also, 7 Things You Must Do TO and FOR Your Small Group Coaches.

5. Am I using the resources with which I’ve been entrusted in a way that is likely to hear “well done” at the end of the game? Many years ago I heard a speaker at a conference say that his personal mission was to have the greatest impact on the largest number of people for the longest period of time. I liked that then. I like it now. That speaker went on to abandon his faith. I want to hear “well done” at the very end of the game. See also, 6 Questions We Should All Be Asking.

What do you think? Have one to add? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.  

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Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.