20 Small Group Quotes from “The Lobby” 2016 By Derek Olson

The largest global network of small group ministry leaders, the “Small Group Network,” annually hosts “The Lobby” small group conference in Southern California. Here are the top 20 quotes I’ve heard so far this week…

  • Small group ministry is more of an art than a science. – Steve Gladen
  • Leaders gather, coaches pursue.
  • Craft strategic questions that help people go deep. A small group discussion format should take my group somewhere. It should help us start out above-the-surface and nudge us beneath-the-surface. – Andrew Mason
  • Spend enough time preparing your infrastructure, before coaching leaders.
  • A model for growth is better than a model for control. – Nick Lenzi
  • When asking your group leaders for their attendance stats, also ask them to share with you the prayer requests coming from the people inside their groups.
  • Leadership is the natural outcome of discipleship. – David Alford
  • Your church small group culture needs to get to the place where it’s more normal for people in your church to be in a group that not be in a group!
  • Small groups create authentic relationship that stirs revival. – Jimmy Phillips
  • When a guest comes through your church doors, it needs to become immediately evident to them that you are all about small groups.
  • The goal is not more small groups, the goal is discipleship. – Jay Daniell
  • People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel.
  • Celebrate small successes.
  • Numbers don’t get you health, but health will always get you numbers. – Steve Gladen
  • Anybody who has led a balanced small group knows that 5-8 well-worded questions can take up more than enough time for a typical small group session. – Andrew Mason
  • Effective leaders build influence, produce results & develop leaders. –David Alford
  • What processes can be improved to provide better service? –Mollie Hunter
  • You were put at a strategic church in a strategic location to help people find Jesus. – Steve Gladen
  • Small groups are leadership factories. – David Alford
  • Life transformation happens best within the context of community, so if a church is going to be intentional about discipleship they have to develop on-ramps to small groups that reach people on the fringes and beyond. – Chris Surrat


Have a question or an insight? Leave it below!

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Daniel Thomas

Connections Director



Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



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