Resolve to Become an Innovator

Do you have what it takes to be really effective at small group ministry? Like anything else there are a number of ingredients to this kind of effectiveness. I really think you’ve got to be a learner. You can be an introvert but it really helps to be a relational person. After all, it’s important that you’re modeling what you want others to reproduce. It makes a big difference to be strategic. There really is a good, better and best time to do everything.

Those are just a few things you need to be really effective at small group ministry. It’s not just one thing.

In fact, I think there’s one more thing that is really, really important if you want to be effective at small group ministry. I think you’ve got to be at least a little bit of an innovator. I don’t mean that you have to come up with ideas like the small group connection or the HOST strategy. That kind of crazy, extraordinary innovation is only in a very few brains. But you do need to be an innovator. Here’s what I mean.

An innovator looks for ways to improve the performance of whatever they’re doing. That happens when you’re observant and ready to thoughtfully tweak the ordinary pattern. Let me talk about both.

Be Observant

Albert Einstein said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Great line. A very true line. And yet…aren’t many of us guilty of running a strategy the same way over and over again and remaining disappointed in the results?

Being observant comes into play when you watch what happens and note the results. You might even jot down the specifics of your promotion, the set-up of the room, the exact personnel that you used to pull off the event, and the follow-up you used.

Once you’ve accumulated all of this information you might even pull together a small team to thoughtfully sift through the data looking for any angles that could explain what happened. Be sure to write down their observations. This is the time to gather insight.

Thoughtfully Tweak the Ordinary Pattern

Once you’ve carefully examined what happened last time (what Jim Collins referred to as an autopsy without blame) it’s time to make a tweak or two of the normal pattern to see if you can improve the outcome. Don’t be content to repeat the event the same way. Instead, look for ways to innovate and improve it.

The Secret to Being an Innovator

The secret to being an innovator is to do the above…and then repeat the process. Much like shampoo, rinse, and repeat…becoming an innovator is a continual process. It’s an every time process. And you can do it.  

Previous articleValue vs. Usefulness
Next articleGreatest Post-It Notes Video Ever!
Mark Howell
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.