Tag: fail

9 Statements that will Destroy your Small Group

Small Groups3

image credit: CreationSwap user George Webster

You don’t want your small group to fail. That’s not why you got into this. You want your group to succeed. You want people to grow and thrive in your group.

You want your group to be the one that people can’t wait to show up to. The one they talk to their friends about. The one that, in 10 years, they look back on and say, “That group changed my life.”

You don’t want people to dread your small group every week. To feel like they just have to come. To view it as a waste of time. To be the group of which they say, “Don’t join a small group. Mine is terrible.”

There’s a certain amount of your group’s success that you can’t control. God’s going to choose to bless or not. He’s going to sovereignly inspire group members to engage…or not. His hand of favor will be there…or not.

But there are statements you can make, personally, that will inevitably tank your group. That will guarantee you’ll get nothing out of it, and that you’ll create a terrible experience for the rest of your group. Statements that will destroy community rather than foster it.

9 Statements that will destroy your group

1. They need community more than I do. I’m just doing this for them.

You need healthy, authentic community as much as anyone does. You’re never above it, because God’s created you to live dependent on others.

2. They need to hear this.

Be careful that as you’re preparing for your small group that you don’t work your way through the material making notes about who in your group needs to hear a given truth…an not including your own name. Pride comes before the fall, my friend. (Proverbs 16:18)

3. I don’t have anything to give.

There may be weeks occasionally that you are empty and dry. But God’s given you gifts that are perfectly suited to lead your group. Don’t spit on God’s grace in your life by feigning a false, self-deprecating humility.

4. I don’t have time for this.

You are busy. So am I. You and I don’t have time to avoid community. The busier we are, the more we need others speaking truth and hope into our lives. When you say this, you place yourself over and above your group members, pridefully believing your life is more important than theirs.

5. Someone else will call them.

Don’t assume that someone else is going to call and encourage your group members. Or visit them in the hospital. Or call them after a new job interview. Or text them after a test. They’re not going to. You need to do the work of shepherding that’s vital for a group leader.

6. What they need is a ‘perfect’ leader. I probably shouldn’t confess my sins here.

Perfection in a small group leader isn’t what’s needed. And in fact, group members will connect with you more over your struggles and difficult times than they ever will with you through your victories. Be open and honest when you mess up.

7. Because I’m the leader I should probably talk more.

No. No. No. The best group leaders listen way more than they talk. Listening, and giving an appropriate (rather than a forced, canned, expected) response is much more honoring, respectful, and helpful. “To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.” – Proverbs 18:13

8. Curriculum? Pssht! I got this!

Don’t think that curriculum is evil. It’s not. It provides a backdrop for your group to have a conversation about truth. It’s not the end-all-be-all for your group. But it helps keep you on track and moving forward. Don’t think you’re “too good” for a focused study.

9. Evangelism? Nope.

Stop it. Quit thinking too narrowly about the Gospel. Too weakly about it. Too shallowly about the power of the Gospel to change lives. Stop it.

What other statements would you include that would destroy a small group?


Create Next

What’s next is what you create.

It’s time for you to









Instead of waiting, watching, and spending time trying to find what’s next, create next.

And you’ll find everyone else is looking to you.

Question: What are you creating now?


Movers and shakers

Every church has ‘movers and shakers.’  You know who I’m talking about.

They’re restless.  Never content with the status quo.  Always have a good idea.  Ready to move, grow, and change.  They want things shaken up.

They tend to frustrate people…at least the people who are comfortable and content with the way things are.  They’ve been called unruly and out of line.  Disrespectful and clueless.  They’re the ones who ‘just can’t be content with anything.’  They challenge the effectiveness of programs, methods, and the well-worn path.

Church leaders have to do something with these folks.  Because they don’t just slowly and quietly disappear if you ignore them.

What to do with Movers and Shakers

1. Ignore them. This will end up going badly for everybody.  Church leaders will be frustrated because these folks just keep stirring the pot.  The movers will be frustrated because nobody is moving with them.  Nobody will be happy.  Trust me.

2. Shut them down. This way, you maintain the status quo, get fewer feathers ruffled, and squeeze out the mover.  You stifle change, and avoid risk.

3. Listen to their ideas. Give them a voice, and hear how God is stirring their hearts.  Work to see how their thoughts fit within the culture of your people.  And be willing to adapt your methods if these ideas can help further the Kingdom.

I’m convinced that God stirs discontentment in people’s hearts for a reason.  It’s no accident.  And if you believe that God is sovereign, you’ve got to affirm the same.

God loves His Church and wants to see her prosper.  And, yes, God doesn’t change.  But He’s perfect…we’re not.  We should be continually evaluating our systems and methods to help more and more people come to a saving faith in Christ. Because if what we’re doing isn’t increasingly leading those who are far from Christ to take steps of faith towards him…then let’s change some things and reverse that trend.  And if the ideas that are brought to the table by the movers and shakers doesn’t seem to fit who you are and what God’s calling you as a local church to do and be…then consider sending them out as church planters to do what God’s calling them to do.  Not sending them out as heretics…but as people on mission.

Continue to tweak.  Improve.  Move and shake.

Have you ever been a part of a church that pushes ‘movers and shakers’ away?

Are you a ‘mover and shaker’?  How has the Church served you well?


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