Setting P.A.C.E. in Men's or Women's Small Groups

A method for approaching gender specific discipleship

Leading small groups is tough business. Listen to a few of the challenges facing the modern day small group leader and disciple maker:

  1. People are extremely busy. Between increased commute times, work demands, and family pressure… people are less likely to invest their valuable time in building authentic Biblical community. Many times it is simply unintentionally squeezed out of their schedule. I've said many times before that "People have a nasty way of voting with their feet" when it comes to deciding whether or not to invest in something they don't see benefit in. Small group attendance and involvement is no exception to this maxim.
  2. Small group leaders mistakenly assume that just because they have a meeting time, a place for their group, a curriculum, and people attending they are succeeding in making disciples. It's not that easy. Discipleship doesn't just happen. There must be a high degree of intentionality when it comes to making disciples at the small group level.
  3. In addition many churches have not developed comprehensive macro and micro level discipleship systems that are efficient at producing effective disciples. George Barna has quipped that most churches are effective at producing ineffective disciples.

On top of all this, we also have the challenge of making disciples most of the time in the context of a small group where both men and women are present. A few years ago, John Gray wrote a book entitled, "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus." If you are married, you know personally the veracity of this simple statement. Since we intrinsically know the truth of the difference between men and women, why do we often assume that in the small group context we can disciple both men and women at the same ...

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