Benchmarks: Developing Leaders and Tackling Challenges

Check out these statistics to get your finger on the pulse of small-groups ministry.

Definition: Benchmarking is a tool used to measure or compare your work or progress with others who are doing the same thing. Benchmarking is a powerful tool because it overcomes "paradigm blindness"—the mode of thinking that says, "The way we do it is the best because this is the way we've always done it."

Because it is difficult to get a handle on what is going on in other small groups outside of your own (or your own church), does live surveys each month on a variety of small-group topics. The purpose of these surveys is to uncover a sense of what is going on in small groups around the world, and particularly in North America.

These surveys are not intended to be a scientific sample of those involved in small groups. And benchmarking—or comparing your small group to other small groups—is not intended to be a substitute for the Holy Spirit's work and guidance in your group. However, knowing what other small groups are doing can be a helpful diagnostic tool and can show what God is up to within the larger small-group movement.

With that in mind, here are some results of surveys on the subject of developing leaders and tackling challenges.

Defining the Leaders

The group leaders who responded to the survey broke down as follows when it comes to their experience leading a small group:

  • 19 percent were just getting started
  • 9 percent had 6 months or less of experience
  • 18 percent had 1–2 years of experience
  • 16 percent had 3–4 years of experience
  • 34 percent had more than 5 years of experience

Fifty-five percent of group leaders said they led their small group as a husband and wife leadership team. Eighteen percent of group leaders were single, while ...

article Preview

This article is currently available to subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter newsletter: Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.


Six Free Apps to Help You Work Smarter
Do more in less time with the help of these great tools.
Your Ministry Can Benefit from Social Media
The rewards and warnings for using these popular networks for small-group ministry
4 Ways You Can Use Social Media for Good
Despite the potential for bad, there are lots of positives for your small-group ministry.
Your Get Started Guide for Social Media
An overview of social media for small-group ministry
How Church Members Use Social Media
Strike up a conversation with your group members about how they use Facebook and Twitter.
The Crack in Your Small-Group Ministry
8 tips to ensure that everyone who signs up for small groups gets connected