Have you ever gone to a pastors’ conference, only to leave discouraged? Me too. It probably wasn’t because the content was bad. But, as a small church pastor, much of the material at many conferences doesn’t fit our circumstances. Or it unintentionally makes us feel guilty because our church isn’t big. Not to mention the
Small group ministry is a must for a healthy church. We need the fellowship, the accountability and so much more.
But what if your church is struggling to do small groups, with no success? Maybe you should stop trying. For a while, anyway.
Here are 4 signs your church may not need a small group ministry right now:
Gene is 90 and can’t always make it to church any more. And when he does, he can’t sit in the folding chairs we set up in the main room. So, while the rest of us go into the sanctuary to sit, stand, sing, clap and raise our hands in worship and learn from scripture, Gene sits quietly in an armchair in the lobby and listens.
When the service is over, the main part of Gene’s church experience begins. As people talk, laugh and hang out in the lobby, he stays in his chair. But he’s seldom sitting alone. People of all ages stop and chat with him constantly.
They bring him coffee. They enjoy his quiet friendliness and wisdom. They learn about his life. They listen as he shares his passion for painting. They pray for him and he prays for them.
A healthy church should always look something like this.
No matter how big or small the church is, these moments matter.
What are we afraid of?
So many churches and pastors act in fear and stay on defense when we should be acting in love and staying on offense.
I’m not saying that we need to be offensive. Quite the opposite.
A church on offense – a church that is aggressively offering concrete examples of Christ’s love to the world – will not push people away, but will draw them in. No matter how big or small we are.
It’s time to start getting innovative and aggressive about expressing Jesus’ love to people. And meeting them where they are instead of expecting them to come where we are – or demanding that they come to where we are in the way we expect.
The church needs more creative people. Fewer critics.
Well, maybe not fewer critics, but better critics.
Critics who don’t just slam people, but who assess for the sake of making the creative people better.
Critics who will evaluate the end result without impugning motives.
Critics who start with an appreciation for the difficulty and courage that sits at the core of the creative process.