Thinking Outside My Box
One of the people that I enjoy reading in the area of Sunday School growth is Mark Howell. I have even driven to Houston for the day, just to listen to him speak on small group growth for three hours. He makes me think, challenges me to question the traditional, and infuses my leadership with new ideas.
Now Mark Howell does Small Groups on a scale I can only imagine, but everyone needs to have a goal right. In a recent article, entitled “I’ve Just added Two New Assumptions to My List of Assumptions” I would encourage you to go to MarkHowellLive.com and read the entire article, since I really only want to zero in on a couple of his small group assumptions today. However, the entire list is worth reading and pondering as you think about your own small Biblical Community.
Assumption #1 - “There is no problem-free solution. Wise leaders simplly choose the set of problems they’d rather have.” Boy, is that true. As we seek to continue expanding our Biblical Community Groups, that process is not problem free and never will be. However, as wise le.”aders we choose to deal with the problems assocated with growth rather and issues assocated with a stagnate or decline small group ministry.
Assumption #2 - “Joining a group in a stranger’s living room is the second scariest move (preceded only by coming to church for the first time. This makes a safe and familiar on-campus first step our of the auditorium a key to connecting people.” I know we think our group is friendly, but to someone new to our church we are a “scary” group. If you missed Pastor Jared’s sermon last week you really should list to the part about how to approach people you don’t know at church. It was a great, fun teaching moment. Having a guest stragegy for your group is so very important to help new people feel more welcome and at easy in our scanturay and Biblical Communities.
Assumption #4 - “Every group of ten has a relative shepherd (most adults can quickly identify the person they’d be willing to follow... everyone can see very quickly who the leader should be.” As a child I used to laugh at the E.F. Hutton commercials, where when if E.F. Hutton spoke, everyone listened. We continually seek to keep our Biblical Communities small for a reason - we want leaders involved in the discipleship process and when looking for new leaders to involve pay close attention to who listens or does not listen when people are involved in class participation.
Final assumption that I want to pull from his Howell’s list for this article is - “The leader of a group only needs to be a step or two ahead of group members. Even Jesus didn’t look for Jesus Jr.” How do I know if someone is ready to lead or become an apprentice leaders. When they are staying just a step or two ahead of the majority of the class. Inviting people to lead is key to developing a leadership pipe line.
As we continue to make growing our Biblical Community through launching new groups and using our Biblical Community/Sunday School as our primary discipleship methodology equip and engage is so important. We have to be equipping our group members to lead new groups that are open to engaging new people.