Small Group Ministry versus Leading a New Kind of Tribe


Different Kind of Tribe

Traditional small group ministry might seem like a leap ahead of the lecture-based classroom in terms of relationship-building, but the rate of change in our surrounding culture still far outpaces the rate of change within the church. Small group ministry is changing. Again. And Rick Howerton, one of the few guys I read religiously concerning […]

Have an Elevator Pitch For Your Small Group Ministry



You know the drill. You are waiting for an elevator, any elevator. The door opens; you walk in, face the door, press the button and stare at the door. Everyone does the same thing. Comedians have made acts out of the goofy behavior that happens in elevators. Something else also happens. It doesn’t have to […]

This Article Has Multiple Pages: 1 2

The Strategy of Connecting People



Before I share four current learnings we have had here at Saddleback Church in the last couple of years on connecting people, let me give you a bit of background. In the book Small Groups With Purpose (SGWP), I explain probably our two most effective strategies for connecting people at Saddleback Church over the last […]

This Article Has Multiple Pages: 1 2

Temple Courts and House to House


Jewish Temple

Temple courts and house to house.”  Ever used that line to connect small group ministry to the very beginning of the Church?  You know you have.  That phrase is probably top 5 in the all time most popular ways to describe the importance of small group ministry. The line is a kind of paraphrase from right […]

Changing Diapers & Spiritual Health



Before you can build your small group strategy, you have to realize the importance of working on your own spiritual journey. We all have a dark side – something broken inside us. If you are not aware that you need to work on your own issues, you are wasting your time. If you don’t realize […]

Top 10 Things I Need to Know about Discipleship


People Walking

I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded about certain things on a regular basis. As I think through discipleship, here’s my current list of things I need to know: It takes a disciple to make a disciple. While I sometimes argue that anyone can host a small group (even a non-Christian), only […]

Small Groups: 4 Kinds that Expand Ministry


Hand on the World

Saddleback outgrew me a long time ago. If Saddleback were limited to the number of people I could personally care for, we would be stuck at 300. Early in the life of Saddleback, I realized that my role was to equip the congregation for ministry, not do all the ministry myself. I simply can’t minister […]

Help! We Had a Successful Small Group Campaign… Now What?



I get questions.  Some of them are just too good to keep to myself.  Here’s one from yesterday: Hi Mark, I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and it’s been extremely helpful. In fact, because of your blog, this fall we went “open bar” and Saddleback style on our small group strategy and saw great […]

Committed to Community -Discovering the Difference Relational Ministry Can Make



It seems like small groups are everywhere.  And churches that have a recognized small group ministry are becoming more the standard than the exception.  Why is that?  What’s going on? As director of, I had a lot of contact with churches that were neck deep in the small group movement.  My job revolved around […]

Leadership, Jesus, and Your Small Group Ministry



Small group ministry is all about people. Day in and day out at Saddleback Church I could spend the majority of my time dealing with people and mess. After all, that is why we went to Seminary—to deal with people. People aren’t an interruption, they are why we exist! So, here is the question, in […]

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