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To build an infrastructure for developing a discipleship culture in your church, you’ll need to learn how small groups fit in.

Small groups are the organizational key for a healthy church

If you want to get your church to really have the infrastructure required for a discipleship culture, you’ll need to develop small groups. This will properly distribute the shepherding workload.

Exodus 18:14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”

Small group leaders and co-leaders are like pastors of mini churches

One person can spiritually care for a very limited number of people. Pastors who try to do it all will fail. Pastors who empower small group leaders to share the ministry will thrive.

Pastors must be committed to marketing this idea

In today’s culture, many church attenders are consumers. Pastors need to teach them a better way to view their faith and their church involvement. Like any marketing campaign, it’ll take time and effort to convince attenders that you are not their personal pastor; a small group leader is.

Marketing this truth will frustrate everyone if group leaders are not equipped

Nobody wins if you have people joining small groups with poorly trained leaders. Like a poorly planned church plant, the net effect will be negative instead of positive.

Equip leaders through a replicating small group ministry

Start with a handful of SG leaders. Train them well with Mentor Training and Small Group Training, and watch their ministry flourish. Then empower them to train the next leaders the same way.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Read Exodus 18:14-18. Pick out the words or phrases that describe the challenges of leading a growing organization. Why do you think Moses tried to do all of the work by himself?
  4. How many people are you directly trying to lead right now? How is it working for you? What are some of the reasons church leaders try to do it all?
  5. In what ways can small group leaders “pastor” their group? What are some of their limitations?
  6. Make a list of some ways to “market” small groups at your church.
  7. Make a short list of people you would like to equip as small group leaders. Talk about a strategy to train them. (See Small Group Leader Training.)
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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