Meta, Model, or Martyr?

The most often overlooked step in starting small groups in a church is preparation; here are three models to help you prepare.

Paul writes in Ephesians chapter four that the work of the pastor is to:

prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

The most often overlooked step in starting small groups in your church is preparation. God's people must be prepared for works of service. Our job is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. In small group ministry, this means coming up with strategies for:

  • Selecting and training leaders, both initially, and as groups develop and new groups are started.

  • Determining what purposes small groups will serve within the church, and how they relate to existing ministry structures.

  • Supporting, encouraging, and holding volunteer leaders accountable to the goals you have established.

  • Helping people find their way into groups.

The Number One Issue: Managing Change

More important than any of these issues, however, is a strategy for managing change. Anytime something new is introduced into the life of your church there is the potential for conflict. In fact church consultant Lyle Schaller says that "The number-one issue facing Christian organizations on the North American continent today [is] the need to initiate and implement planned change."

Introducing a new small groups ministry always involves change. Here are three strategies for managing change as you work to establish a small groups ministry in your congregation:

Meta-Church Approach

The Meta-Church (from the Greek word meta, meaning "change") approach was developed by Carl George of the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. The icon is the ...

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