Note: This assessment has been excerpted from the SmallGroups.com training tool called Small-Group Evaluations.
When done correctly, small groups glorify God, help people grow, and build community. But ministries and groups can malfunction. Assess your groups for these seven warning signs, answering “yes” or “no” to each statement.
1. We don't know where we are aiming.
We have not identified what we want groups to accomplish for the entire church.
We look at our small group as an entity unto itself.
We don't know what our groups will accomplish in the life of individuals.
We have not articulated a vision of how group life can help people be fruitful.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, read Create a Compelling Vision.
2. We don't provide consistent leader training.
Our group leaders aren't sure if they're doing a good job.
Our leaders are lacking in confidence.
Our leaders are lacking in competence.
We plug new leaders into existing non-group specific training programs.
Our leadership training consists of giving people a book or tape.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, read Train New Leaders.
Looking for a program that makes training new leaders simple? See our Small-Group Leader Training Program.
3. We don't provide enough support for leaders.
Our group leaders are not growing in Christ.
We do not provide coaches or shepherds to help leaders with spiritual formation.
We do not affirm our leaders when they are doing things right.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, read Effectively Coach Your Leaders.
4. Our practiced vision and values don't match the stated vision and values.
We don't have vision and mission statements.
We do have vision and mission statements, but do not align our behavior to them.
We do not assess whether our conduct matches our vision and mission statements.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, read Develop a Group Strategy.
5. We value busyness over production.
People are giving their time but not experiencing authentic community.
People are serving faithfully without producing transformation in themselves or those they serve.
The lives of leaders are more frantic and frenetic than the lives of those they serve.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, read Healthy Leadership.
6. We don't take time to celebrate.
We do not celebrate what God is doing in the lives of group leaders.
We don't celebrate what God is doing in the lives of group members.
We don't celebrate what God is doing in the entire small-group ministry.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, read “Small-Group Ministry Events on a Budget.”
7. We talk about prayer more than we pray.
No one in our church prays specifically and consistently for small groups.
Coaches don't pray for the leaders in their care.
Leaders don't pray for the members they serve.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, read “How to Pray for Your Small-Group Ministry.”
Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today.
- Do any of the seven warning signs suggest a critical situation in your church or small-group ministry?
- What steps will need to be taken, and who will need to be consulted, before changes can be implemented in your church's small-group ministry?
- What is the value of mission and vision statements? Should your small-group ministry have its own set of statements or should it align with the church's statements?