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Thriving Small Groups: Top 10 Things You Need to Know

Thriving Small Groups: Top 10 Things You Need to Know

Want to build thriving small groups in your church? It won’t be easy. It will require a commitment to the long haul, major determination, a willingness to commit resources, disappoint the guardians of the status quo, and much, much more.

But…if you believe that unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again, if you want to connect far beyond the usual suspects (and even beyond your average weekend adult worship attendance)…there is no alternative. A commitment to building a thriving small group ministry is a non-negotiable.

Top 10 Things You Need to Know to Build a Thriving Small Group Ministry

The end in mind.

Do you have a sense of what it will look like when you have built a thriving small group ministry? The clearer your sense of what it will be like, even what it will feel like, the better your chances are of arriving there.

When you have clarity about the end in mind, you will be able to recognize the paths that do not go there.

Describing in vivid detail a picture of the preferred future is essential. Make no compromise and take no shortcut. As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

The real and awful truth about the present.

Knowing the end in mind is essential, but without knowing the real truth, the awful truth, about where you are right now, designing the path that leads from here to there will be an elusive dream.

Brutal honesty about the here and now is essential. And while the gritty details about the current state of your small group ministry include quantitative things like the actual number of groups and active members in them, they also include qualitative things like whether your group leaders are really making disciples and whether life-change is actually happening.

What you will call a win.

According to Peter Drucker, very few things are as important as determining what you will call success. Andy Stanley calls clarifying the win one of the 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.