4 Keys to Develop a Groups Culture Post-COVID

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You have walked through so much in 2020 as a group point person. You most likely had to help groups transition to Zoom and then walk them through feeling Zoom-ed out. You saw the value of groups as they held the church family together, but you also faced the franticness of making groups form without the luxury of being in person.

We still do not know how long we will face COVID-19, but you have a critical question that can help you and the leadership of the church decipher in the coming months – What do we hope our small group culture looks like post-COVID?

Yes, you feel the endless to-do list, but the discussions you have about the future of groups could set the table for people in the church you serve to experience the gospel in new ways.

The shutdown challenged every church to identify what ministry opportunities really matter to living out the gospel. Now more than ever, we live in a culture that needs life-giving and life-transformational relationships. Small groups provided these spaces for people in a structure to experience the gospel in ways they could have never found on their own.

I want give key areas that you can start to plan now to build a deeper and more effective group culture for the church you serve:

Develop a Leadership Team

My major regret in terms of small group ministry was not starting a leadership team earlier. Mary and Char became the leaders of the small group ministry along with a team of small group coaches. We meet weekly, because small groups are my highest priority. A leadership team not only helps you see the future, but also executes it with you.

Develop the Goals.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. A culture gets developed by what you repeat and choose to celebrate. The small group leadership team, coaches, and leaders should have a clear articulation of what winning looks like. You may need to start more groups or you might see a need to challenge groups to go deeper in spiritual formation. Identify one to three goals and then repeat, train, celebrate, and repeat.

Develop the Plan.

A team with goals lead to a plan. Start schedule the leadership trainings and the huddles. Yes, we’re in a season that’s difficult to plan. When you create a plan and then communicate about it, it helps leaders at all levels see how they contribute to the culture. Plans can change, but having them gives people a role and helps you decide when to change course too.

Develop the Communication.

Each Friday, I send small group leaders an email with the group guide for Sunday’s message. Communication for culture building is not just one platform, but it’s taking the plan to the small group ministry. It requires repetition so that people within the small group ministry know the direction. The Friday emails taught the importance of vision-casting and reinforcing what matters.

This season has taken a lot of energy, but you have an opportunity to consider the future of groups at the church you serve. You can make a culture shift by taking these steps to develop a leadership team, goals, plan, and communication.

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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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