As we begin the new year, it has got me thinking about growth. Specifically, how can we grow and build our small group ministries in 2018? What if we started by setting some goals for ourselves – I have noticed that when I grow there is a ripple effect which also has an impact on the ministry God has called me to lead. Sometimes I know it is easier to go down the ‘lets do the same as last year’ route -but maybe in 2018 God wants us to move beyond our ‘small group ministry comfort zone’ into some new thinking.
So here are three goals that might help you do that – (I am sure you can add more to the list!)
#1. Read some Small Group Ministry Books
Simple right! Choose one or two or three of the many that are available and go for it. I have recently read two outstanding books 1) Transformational Groups (Ed Stetzer & Eric Geiger) which was recommended to me by one of my SGN huddle members. 2) Leading Small Groups With Purpose (Steve Gladen). Both very practical and informative. Whatever books you choose it is important to keep in mind the challenge of these words by Frederick W. Robertson;
“It is not the number of books you read, nor the variety of sermons you hear, nor the amount of religious conversation in which you mix, but it is the frequency and earnestness with which you meditate on these things till the truth in them becomes your own and part of your being, that ensures your growth.”
#2. Connect with other Small Group Ministry People
There is nothing more encouraging, inspiring and fun than meeting on a regular basis with a bunch of people who understand ‘exactly’ what it is you are trying to achieve through small group ministry. The SGN has many Huddles operating around the world. A Huddle is simply a group of small group point people who meet together on a regular basis in a geographical area. They share ideas (which can challenge us to think wider than our experience!) pray for one another and learn new small group ministry ‘stuff’ together.
If there is not one near you then you could consider starting one yourself. It is not that hard and the benefits are enormous!
Are you a member of our Facebook Group? Benefits include connecting with other small group ministry leaders world-wide, sharing ideas, asking questions and receiving insightful resources! To join this amazing community, click HERE
#3. Attend a Small Group Conference
In Australia we are VERY excited because we are hosting a SGN conference here in 2018. Steve Gladen the founder of the SGN and pastor at Saddleback Church will be in Melbourne 15-16 June and then in Sydney 22-23 June. So if you are in Australia make sure you have those dates in your calendar and plan to attend with your small group ministry team. Contact me for more details. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are other training and events on offer through the SGN (Accelerate & The Lobby). I also have just done a quick google search and found out that Re-Group is running in Atlanta in May 2018. So start your search now, find a small group ministry conference nearby (or far away – you are more than welcome to come to Australia!) and make it one of your ‘growth goals’ for 2018.
When we take the time and set goals for our own growth, God will use them to grow us and in turn grow small group ministry.
Tracey Ware is the Small Group Network country leader for Australia. She is more than happy for you to contact her – email@example.com