Natural Church Development assesses a church in eight different quality characteristics. With this post, we will take a quick look at one of these characteristics – Holistic Small Groups.
Natural Church Development defines healthy Holistic Small Groups as: Holistic small groups are disciple-making communities that endeavor to reach the unchurched, meet individual needs, develop each person according to his or her God-given gifts, and raise leaders to sustain the growth of the church. Like healthy body cells, holistic small groups are designed to grow and multiply.
For leaders whose churches have this as one of their lower points, NCD offers the following starting points as a means of improving this area…
- The way you go about small groups must be tied into the core values of the church.
- Implementing an effective small group ministry will be leadership intensive and require moving through a change process.
- A healthy disciple-making small group system depends on an intentional effort to raise up new leaders.
- Have the courage to let some groups die.
Every church has core values. And they are displayed by its actions. As the leader of your church, you define those values. If you want small groups to be a part of your church, you have to place value on them. You have to speak highly of small groups and encourage your people to join one.
As you go about the implementation process, it will require a lot of attention. Assigning a staff person or identifying a key leader from the congregation to oversee this will be crucial to it success. Whomever you pick, training and support from you will be essential for her to succeed.
A big part of a small groups’ ability to grow, is for the leaders within it to reproduce themselves. Your group leaders will need to be encouraged to identify, equip, and empower others from within their group to help lead. This will take a conscious effort by the small group point person. And again, you as the leader, need to encourage your small group point person to take those steps.
Some groups will take off and some groups will not. This is something that happens. As the leader of the church, you must be ok with letting some groups die. If you really want to see groups become a part of your church life, groups have to be started. And the more groups you will start, the greater chance you will have one that does not make it. Again, it is ok.
As a coach, I can come alongside of you and assist your in church’s growth in this area.