Ask the right questions before you begin or relaunch your small group ministry.

Here is a common scenario in small group ministry…

Your church tried small groups a few years ago.  It was a disaster.  You know you ought to try again, but church members are resistant when they recall the previous attempt.  How can you be successful this time around?

Learn from Experience

First, assess what went wrong last time.  Assemble your team and discuss the factors that hindered the earlier effort.  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?  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?  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?  Was the effort an attempt to glorify God?  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:

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