Vision

Why Most People Don’t Want to Lead Small Groups

  • 13 February 2017
  • Keith Reed

Small GroupsI’ve never heard of a church that has too many small group leaders. Too many ushers? Maybe. Too many musicians? Possibly. Too many small group leaders? Highly unlikely.

And yet, I know many churches that have grand visions for their small group ministry. Statements like, “we want to be a church of small groups” or “we want everyone to be in a small group.” All of them? Wouldn’t this require a massive influx of group leaders?

Herein lies the problem—you can’t multiply small groups if you don’t have small group leaders. For as motivated as some people may be to join a small group, their ambition will come to a screeching halt when they discover that the bus they’re about to board is missing its driver. 

Small group leaders don’t just appear—they must be developed.

But developing small group leaders comes with a set of challenges. Beyond the obvious task of equipping individuals for this position is another hurdle you might have to clear—most people don’t want to lead small groups. And the reason they don’t want to lead is directly tied to the expectations they believe a small group leader needs to fulfill. Many people feel that leading a small group:

    • Is categorially different than participating in a small group
    • Requires significant biblical knowledge and theological training 
    • Requires a lot of preparation time 
    • Is an unending commitment
    • Is a solo act 

Expectations of small group leaders may extend beyond this list, but these five make a sufficient point—there are many valid reasons why people don’t want to lead small groups. And these objections don’t necessarily mean that a person is less committed to discipleship. They’re simply considering if the role is a good fit (to which they should be commended).

Depending on how your small group ministry is structured, you might be able to lessen the objections that potential leaders might have. Maybe group leaders are provided with teaching curriculum to follow or maybe there’s a designated time for groups to break or disband.

It’s possible that you can convince people to lead small groups and that you can develop creative ways to limit the obstacles. But this approach will leave you wondering if these groups will be led with the appropriate amount of passion that comes when the right people are leading from the right positions. 

How to Discern Your God-Given Call

  • 29 January 2017
  • Randy Wollf

Man walking alone in thoughtUnderstanding God's personal call is an important part of living fulfilled and productive lives as Christians (see Why Understanding Your Personal Calling is Important blog). Of course, Scripture describes God’s moral calling for every Christian―biblical principles guide us and help us know how we should live. Yet, it seems that God also has a more specific calling for each person―a job for them to do. Ephesians 2:10 says that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. What "good works" does God want us to do in our lifetime? Let’s look at three steps for discerning God’s calling.

Life Purpose

Simply stated, our life purpose is the reason we exist. It’s what gives our lives meaning. I’m sure we can think of many people who had a strong sense of purpose. Mahatma Gandhi sought to promote peace and equality in non-violent ways. Mother Teresa devoted her life to loving the least of these; to touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted. A Canadian hero, Terry Fox, set out to run across Canada on one leg to raise money for cancer research.

To discern your life purpose, prayerfully identify 6-10 Scriptures that are meaningful to you. Why do you think that God has emphasized these verses in your life? How do they connect with activities that give your life deep meaning? Write down single words or themes that stand out to you from these passages. Now, use those ideas to create a one-sentence purpose statement that captures at least something of why you believe God created you (see the Three Steps to Understand Your Life Purpose in a Deeper Way blog for a more detailed description of this process).

My life purpose is to build capacity in myself and others so that we can love God deeply and serve Him more effectively. My purpose statement went through numerous revisions, so don’t feel that you have to figure it all out at the start.

Core Values

Our core values are deeply embedded assumptions and beliefs that continuously influence our decisions. They are extremely important! They will either support or hinder the living out of our life purpose.

Eight Steps to Lead Change in Your Church

  • 14 November 2016
  • Randy Wollf

Geese flyingIn their book The Heart of Change, John Kotter and Dan Cohen outline eight steps for leading change within an organization. I have adapted their framework for leading change within the church which I will outline in this blog (an extended version of this content is available through video on MinistryLift's YouTube channel). This entire process is one that must be bathed in prayer as we seek to discern and surrender ourselves to God’s priorities.

1. Increase a Sense of Urgency

People are unlikely to engage in significant change initiatives unless they feel an urgency to do so. Crises can help people realize that change is necessary, but this isn’t the only way to ignite a sense of urgency. You can also do this by communicating a compelling vision and sharing stories that motivate people to take action.

2. Build a Guiding Team

The purpose of this step is to pull together a group of people who have enough capacity and credibility within the congregation to implement the necessary change. One of the key roles of this team is to facilitate widespread participation in the change discussions. The extent to which people engage meaningfully in the process will contribute to their long-term commitment to the plan (and their willingness to make sacrifices to implement it).

3. Get the Right Vision

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