In this brief video, Pastors Rick Warren and Tim Harlow talk about how to move people to be on mission globally. Read more about Tim’s book and campaign, Life on Mission.Continue Reading
Archives For Small Groups
5 Quick Ideas that Will Connect More People This Fall
- Plan a small group connection. Pick an appealing small group study. Pick a convenient day and time. Promote the connection 3 weekends in a row. It’s just about that simple. The study you choose determines who will attend. The process itself is designed to identify leaders at every table. You’ll find plenty of detail in How to Launch Groups Using a Small Group Connection.
- Plan a 6 week on-campus study that leads to an off-campus group. Choose a study that will grab the attention of a select group of people (i.e., Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage). If you have more than one group you’d like to target, choose the perfect study for each target (i.e., couples, men, women, etc.). Choose a convenient night and time when you have available on-campus space. Arrange child-care. Promote the study 3 weeks in a row. You’ll find additional details in Take Advantage…
So…if we’re all trying to hit the same target, why are so many of our discipleship strategies missing the mark?
Any theories? I have a few and before you think I believe I have it all together, I’m actually guilty of a few of these myself!
Here are 6 reasons our discipleship strategies miss the mark:
- We don’t actually have a strategy. We really have more of a theology of wishful thinking. We spend time planning everything from our weekend services and special events to staff retreats and the updated vacation policy, but we don’t get around to developing a discipleship strategy. In the place of a strategy we are hopeful. I love this line from Winston Churchill. “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” If you don’t like your results, change the strategy….
Most of us quickly recognize the signs that there is something wrong with the way our car’s engine sounds or feels. When our car dies at the stop light or backfires as we drop off our teenage daughter at school…we get it. There’s something wrong with the engine. We may not know what it is but we know it’s time for a tune up.
But do you know the signs your small group ministry is due for a tune up?
5 signs your small group ministry is due for a tune up:
- You never need to start new groups because there’s always room in your existing groups. This is a serious sign that your small group ministry needs a tune up. It’s a problem for two reasons. First, the hardest place for a new member to connect is in an existing group where relationships are already established. The easiest place for a new member to connect is in a group where everyone is new. Second, small group leaders (and members) of existing groups need to learn to “fish” for new members. See also, Critical Decision: Add Members to Existing Groups…
Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor Tim Harlow discuss what it takes to structure a church for long term growth and health. In this video, they discuss the vital importance of small groups, of succession planning, and of the need for systems to sustain a healthy church long term.
Click here to find out more about the Life On Mission campaign!Continue Reading
The way these questions are answered should play a role in how your ministry is designed. And the design of your ministry absolutely determines the results you should anticipate. See also, 7 Signs You Have a Bad Design for Small Group Ministry.
- What need(s) do people have that might best be met by a small group? Which of these needs would be seen as most pressing? Which of these needs could be met in the same small group? While there may be some overlap in your answers and mine, your answers should define your direction.
- What will have to be…
If God allowed you to baptize hundreds of new believers, add hundreds of new members, and increase your average attendance by thousands in just 40 days, would you call that a revival?
If, during those same 40 days, God prompted people in your church who were previously uninvolved to start serving in ministry, and caused others to commit to a world missions project, what would you call that? An Awakening?
What term would you use if God led your members to become so concerned for their lost friends that they convinced their neighbors to study the Bible for six weeks in one of thousands of small groups meeting in homes around your city? A Miracle?
Well, whatever you call it, all this has actually happened at Saddleback Church during the various campaigns that we’ve conducted over the years, and we stand in awe at what God has done. And God has repeatedly worked through campaigns hosted by thousands of churches around the world in similar ways.
Untold thousands have come to Christ, been baptized, welcomed into church membership, connected to a small group or Sunday School class, taught the meaning of real worship and fellowship, equipped for ministry, and then sent out for their…Continue Reading
“Your mission . . . should you choose to accept it.”
Every kid growing up in my generation longed to hear those words from the television series, “Mission Impossible.” The agency would send a super secret tape player to the secret agent, who would listen to instructions (usually involving a dangerous trek to some communist country), and then the tape would self-destruct so no one else could ever know what the super secret mission was.
Interestingly, there was never an episode where the agent said, “I’m not feeling it, I think I’ll go get a beef sandwich.”
The assumption here is that if you are an agent, it’s your job to take the mission. If you want to sit around all day and play Candy Crush®, you can work somewhere else. Maybe the DMV. But if you’re an agent—you accept the mission. That’s the whole reason you took all those Kung Fu lessons.
Guess what? Every believer is an agent. Every believer has a mission.
The Life on Mission curriculum is about how to help your congregation realize that they are on mission. Not just the Pastor. It’s written to help them understand…Continue Reading
To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing.”
That was the line I heard from Craig Groeschel at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit in 2008. I remember where I was sitting in the Bayside Community Church auditorium when I heard the line. I can’t tell you anything else I heard at the Leadership Summit that year, but I’ll never forget that single line.
As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one rocked by the line. Andy Stanley referenced it in a memorable Drive Conference session. You can listen to him recount its impact right here: What no one else is doing.
“To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing.” If there was ever an idea that was self-evident, that was and is one.
To connect people no one else is connecting
When I heard the line, it was only a short leap to rearrange it this way:
“To connect people no one else is connecting, we must do things no one else is doing.”
And like Groeschel’s original line, what this means is that simply improving what we’re already…Continue Reading
I’m also convinced that this principle extends upstream to indicate that whatever you want to happen in the lives of your leaders must happen first in the lives of your coaches and ultimately, what is happening in the life of the small group pastor makes possible the kinds of life-changing experiences happening at the member level. See also, The Most Important Contribution of the Small Group Pastor and Skill Training: Equip Your Coaches to Develop and Disciple Your Leaders.
If it’s true that what happens in the life of the small group pastor ultimately impacts and affects what happens at the member level of our groups…it makes sense that we would pay attention to our own personal growth. That’s why I was very pleased to see 5 questions on our new staff evaluation tool at…Continue Reading
This is a good question, don’t you think? Isn’t it the internal debate that every leader has?
In my post, 8 Habits of Life-Changing Small Group Leaders, I point out several interrelated habits that I believe must be cultivated by every small group leader.
First, small group leaders need to make time with God a daily priority. A regular and ongoing conversation with God adds an essential ingredient to spiritual growth. Spending consistent time with God, reading His word and praying, are not elective activities. Jesus modeled this essential habit. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 NIV
Second, small group leaders need to follow the best example and offer a good example. The Apostle Paul urged the members of the church in Corinth to “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV).” This is an…Continue Reading
Here are 5 Things You Need to Know:
- There is no problem-free small group model. Every model comes with a set of problems. Wise leaders simply choose the set of problems they would rather have. See also, Breaking: No Problem-Free Small Group System or Model.
- The to-do list that come with the model you choose. In addition to a set of problems, every model comes with a list of activities that must be accomplished in order for the model to work effectively. For example, most Semester models necessitate confirming the availability of every leader and the study they will be doing for the upcoming semester. Sermon-Based models require a quality study to be written every week and distributed…