5 Questions That Could Save Your Ministry

There’s no shortage of “answers” on the Internet. If you’re looking for opinions on any topic they are only a click away. However, after we wade through these so-called answers we often find ourselves scratching our heads and wondering, “Ok so now what do I do?”

Colin Wright once said, “Ignorance is a temporary affliction, remedied only by asking the right questions.” Sometimes answering a question yourself will take you much farther than listening to someone else’s answer.

Group life ministry is one of the most contextualized ministries of the church. An offering that focuses primarily on relationship will shift from church to church. Perhaps it’s time we stopped looking for answers and started asking the right questions.

Why do you do small groups?

Have you and your leadership team ever stopped the fast pace of ministry to ask, “Why is it that we do small groups at all?” You might be surprised by some of the answers you hear. Is the answer immediately Biblical? Are small groups the answer to a pressing problem? Have you just always done small groups and you were hired into the role? Whatever the response is, it will impact how you move forward.

When you’re on a trip in a place you’ve never been before you consult the map more often. You want to make sure you make it to your destination. If your ministry is moving forward you’ll need to take a look at the desired destination often.

What have you seen God do in groups?

Sometimes we get caught in the trap of trying too much to predict what God will do in the future. Who will show up to my connection event? How will groups respond to this study? What resources will equip them the most? For a moment, think about what God has been doing already in your groups. Instead of creating some new trend in your groups you could be simply following the trend God is making. Make a list. You might be surprised that He’s moving in a different direction than you.

If Paul wrote your church a letter, what would he say?

It’s easy to read Paul’s letters and apply them to your life and church. What if Paul wrote a new letter and it was specifically addressed to your church? What would he tell you he’s thanking God for? What would he warn you about? What would he plainly speak out against?

Are you taking the right risks?

When is the last time you took a risk inventory? Grab a sheet of paper and write down every risk you’ve taken in ministry in the past 6 months. Are they purposeful? Does God direct them, or some other desire? Is your page filled up or totally blank?

The level of risk that is right for you will change from season to season and depends on many factors. However, if you take a look at this list you’ll get an idea of what’s right and wrong for you right now. This would be a great list to discuss with a mentor.

What is God calling out in you this season?

We want all of our small group leaders asking this question each ministry season so it only makes sense that we would, too. What is it that God is focusing on in your life this season?

It might be about the ministry, but frankly it might not be. Considering all the arenas of life you operate in (family, ministry, serving, friends, finances, health, etc.) what do you think has God’s attention right now? Only by asking this question and doing something with the answer can you model faith in action for your leaders.



  • Jon Noto

    Jon Noto is a licensed Christian therapist who was called into ministry and served at Willow Creek Community Church’s North Shore campus as Community Life Pastor. Now Jon works with White Stone Counseling Resources, a Christian counseling practice that serves local churches. Jon continues to write, teach, and train in addition to private practice. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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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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