What’s a “Win” for Your Small Group Leader? Part I

What’s a “win” for your Small Group Leader?

Most of us would answer: “discipleship” or “disciple-maker”. I would have answered that way,but the problem is that  those words often look like different things to different people, or may mean nothing at all.  I’ve noticed that I’ve needed to be more specific and paint a picture of what it would mean for us to be successful as a  Small Group Leader.

The semester based Small Group ministry that I currently lead was  developed three years ago.  It’s  been an adventure to innovate on a system so it aligns more and more to our Mission. An “adventure” firstly because that I see us the model more and more fitting in our context thus helping us move forward with our mission. Secondly,I enjoy the learning process with the prospect that it will actually help transform our church culture into an intentionally disciple-making one.

So while preparing to lead a new Leadership Huddle this Fall, I reflected on what it would look like if we were to succeed as small group leaders.  How will we know when we get there and most importantly, most importantly-where are we going?

One of the aspect of the Semester based system Group model that I have appreciated the most, is its emphasis on multiplying leaders rather than multiplying groups.  When I first started leading small group ministries, it was conventional wisdom that the leader would traumatize a group by splitting the members in it to form a new groups for the sake of creating more communities. The model that we base our  church’s small groups on is unpacked in the book Activate. It’s authors Searcy and Thomas essentially share that the more leaders we foster through our small groups, the more groups we’ll have. No need to split members. Enlist more leaders.

What’s the  short-term mark of success for our small group ministry?  Leaders.

When a group participant steps forward a the end of the Semester to lead a group of his or her own, then we’ll know that we have achieved a short-term win.

What about a long-term marker of success? Our Mission statement is: Transforming this Generation:Connect,Grow,Serve,Go. Our Small Group ministry falls under the Grow section of the statement. Grow indicates that transformation happens best within a community of believers.

After almost a year of listening to the stories emerging from communities within our church, several positive results came to the surface.  They all had to do with transformation. Our long-term win? Transformation.

I summarized what this “transformation” looks like through these four outcomes:

  • Friendship
  • Victory
  • Commitment
  • Purpose

Part II will unpack these four outcomes and explain how they relate to transformation and to our church’s mission.

Question/Reflection: Why is it important to define a “win” for our team? What would a “win” look like for you? Is it important that it aligns to your organization’s mission? Why or Why not?