How can small-group pastors assess the discipleship happening in their small groups?
The first thing small-group pastors can do is look to see if groups are growing and multiplying. At the end of your study season, do you have more people in groups than when you started? Numbers aren’t everything, but on mission small groups are contagious and growth will naturally occur.
Second, the pastor can look at participation in the church. Are more people volunteering to serve in the church? Are more people giving their time and resources to serve outside the church? Because there is a direct correlation between small groups and spiritual growth, there should be a correlation between group health and the expression of spiritual gifts, service, and giving in, through, and beyond the church.
Finally, you can use a formal assessment tool to help evaluate your group and discipleship efforts. There are lots of different options, but at our churches we use the Transformational Discipleship Assessment.
Whatever you use, you want something that helps people look at their individual spiritual growth, and then allows you to see the state of the group and the church as the numbers roll up to the whole. Though you don’t get to see individual results, a good assessment let’s you see how individual groups—and the church—are doing with their spiritual progress.
To help your group members grow and thrive, use our training tool Growing Small Groups. It focuses on key discipleship elements in groups.