I was doing a consultation with a small group pastor. During the session I consistently mentioned the importance of evaluating the ministry, tweaking this and that, and fixing what was broken. With a hint of discontent in his tone the small groups guy said, “Sounds to me like I’m suppose to rebuild the ship while she’s in flight.” My response… “You got it.”
One of the beauties as well as the challenge of leading a small group ministry is the opportunity (and necessity) to throw the cookie cutter away and let the Holy Spirit nudge you when redirects need to take place. A church leader can and should purposefully, strategically, and consistently evaluate, pray, and shift directions, tweak methods, etc…
One of the greatest movements of the Holy Spirit to take place in the west happened in England in the 1700’s. John Wesley’s class meetings (small groups) were the catalyst for a movement that many believe saved England from a revolution and saved the masses from hell. His system of doing groups was rebuilt and rebuilt and rebuilt until he found what was right for the culture. In D. Michael Henderson’s book, A Model for Making Disciples: John Wesley’s Class Meeting, he writes, “John Wesley’s instructional system arose within the context of the cultural and historical circumstances of eighteenth-century England. His methodology was, in part, the product of his response to personal and social conditions in that day. He was no ivory-tower theorist; he worked with the common stuff of public ministry and formulated his policies in the midst of hectic situations.”
Wanna’ change the world, at least start a revolution in the area where you live? After landing on specific principles and the values that will drive your small group ministry… wisely and in most instances annually… Dream, Build, and Rebuild!