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Small Group Pastor… Are You Growing the Kingdom or Building an Organization?

There’s a difference between growing the Kingdom and building an organization.
The most simplistic explanation I’ve ever heard someone voice for the word “Kingdom” is, “Wherever Christ reigns His Kingdom exists.” And one of the most powerful facts we small group point people must keep in mind is that our primary responsibility is to grow His Kingdom. That is, create a ministry where, at every level Christ reigns. But all too many of us find ourselves making our primary objective and giving most of our energies to building an efficient organization.
Maybe taking the time to evaluate ourselves by considering a few markers of each will help us realize the need to transition to Kingdom growing if we have landed firmly in the spiritually ineffective land of Organization Building.
When our primary passion is building an organization we often…
·      overlook evaluating our ministry through the lenses of Scripture.
·      host leadership team meetings that spend little or no time in prayer.
·      lead training experiences that espouse excellent information but lack biblical content.
·      spend little or no time praying for our coaches and small group leaders.
·      begin to believe that the number of or percentage of people involved in our ministry means we have an effective ministry.
·      realize that we are not allowing Christ to reign in our own hearts.
When our primary passion is growing the Kingdom we…
·      evaluate the ministry through the lenses of Scripture.
·      host leadership team meetings that have been bathed in prayer prior to the beginning of the meeting.
·      make certain that prayer is a significant experience in every leadership team meeting.
·      lead training experiences in which biblical content is the foundation for almost any point being made.
·      pray almost daily for our coaches and small group leaders.
·      realize that it is not the number or percentage of people who are involved in our ministry that determines whether or not we are a Kingdom ministry. Rather it is the number of people in our small groups who are giving themselves to sacrificial living due to their allowing Christ to reign in their hearts that marks whether or not we have created a Kingdom ministry.

·      consistently check ourselves to be certain Christ is ruling and reigning in our own hearts.

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Rick has one passion… To see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is presently pursuing this passion as the Small Group and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Church Resources. Rick has authored or co-authored multiple books, studies, and leader training resources including A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic, Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual, The Gospel and the Truth: Living the Message of Jesus, Small Group Life Ministry Manual: A New Approach to Small Groups, Redeeming the Tears: a Journey Through Grief and Loss, Small Group Life: Kingdom, Small Group Kickoff Retreat: Experiential Training for Small Group Leaders, and Great Beginnings: Your First Small Group Study, Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making. Rick’s varied ministry experiences as an collegiate minister, small group pastor, teaching pastor, elder, full-time trainer and church consultant, as well as having been a successful church planter gives him a perspective of church life that is all-encompassing and multi-dimensional. Rick is a highly sought after communicator and trainer.