Here is a common scenario in small group ministry…
Your church tried small groups a few years ago. Â It was a disaster. Â You know you ought to try again, but church members are resistant when they recall the previous attempt. Â How can you be successful this time around?
Learn from Experience
First, assess what went wrong last time. Â Assemble your team and discuss the factors that hindered the earlier effort. Â Here are some sample questions the team might ask each other:
- Did we fail to get key church leaders on board with the idea?
- Did we fail to provide adequate training and preparation of group leaders?
- Did we pick a bad time (in the calendar year or in the life of the church) to begin?
- Was publicity adequate?
- Did we try too much at once? Â Did we try too little at once?
- Were people not motivated by the topic/materials?
- Do a lot of people in our church already experience community in other ways (through family, through Sunday School, etc.) and did not feel a need to add the small group setting to their weekly calendar?
- Did we make too many rules, leaving the groups with no flexibility to met individual needs in their group? Â Did we make too few rules, opening the door for divisiveness or inaccurate Bible teaching?
- Did we fail to approach God as we approached the launch of the program? Â Was the effort an attempt to glorify God? Â Did we fail to offer up sufficient prayer?
- Were there any other factors that might have contributed to breakdown the last time?
Ask the Right Questions before Beginning
After your team has a picture of what did not work in the past, use the same questions to discuss what factors will contribute to a successful launch this time around: