When you give your leaders the freedom to lead interesting, creative groups, you infuse your small group system with life. There are many advantages to allowing your leaders to choose the theme and/or topic of their groups each semester. Here are a few:
The availability of different topics each semester decreases the chances that people will sign up for the same group over and over again, which would put that group in danger of becoming inwardly focused. Interest in signing up for a specific study or type of group will outweigh the desire anyone might have to stay with one group leader indefinitely.
Different types of groups (sports groups, moms’ groups, writing groups, etc.) will entice nonbelievers and seekers who are attending your church to sign up. They may be more interested in meeting some new people and playing basketball than they are in studying James. At this point, that’s fine. Let them belong before they believe. Allow the group’s theme to bring them in–then they will connect with believers and learn about God.
People will grow faster when studying something they have an expressed interest in, which will allow you to more easily identify future leaders and potential staff people.
Men are more willing to join groups that are based on intriguing topis and built around creatively themed activities.Let them belong before they believe. Click To Tweet
At The Journey, we allow our leaders to choose their own topics (which we approve) two out of the three semesters each year. During the fall semester, the entire church studies the same topic. But even while we are all focused on the same thing, there are still different types of groups available. For example, we will have women’s groups, artists’ groups, and professionals’ groups all focusing on a concept that the church is studying as a whole, with tied-in teaching at the weekend service.
Thanks to the power of a system, we have the ability to give our leaders huge amounts of freedom and still know that we will be pulled in if any problems arise. For all of you out there who are terrified by the thought of relinquishing hands-on control of your groups, rest assured that the system you will have in place is what will allow you to let go with confidence. Through your network of group leaders, team leaders, and staff, you will still be completely plugged in; you just won’t have to exercise growth-blocking control.
Thought it may not always be easy, it is always wise to let go and let God. Trust him with your leaders and trust your leaders with your people. Trust him with your leaders and trust your leaders with your people. Learn to decentralize–and watch your groups flourish.
– Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas, with Jennifer Dykes Henson
The above excerpt is from pgs. 105-107 of Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups.
Drawing from the startling success of small groups at The Journey Church, Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas debunk the myths, set the record straight, and show how church leaders can implement a healthy small group ministry that gets the maximum number of people involved and solves many of the important problems facing churches of all sizes. These practical strategies will produce life-changing results.
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