Small Group Discipleship Questions

  669 views

In my role for Home Missions, I have the privilege of talking with many amazing lay leaders and pastors about small group discipleship. The conversations usually start with a short story and a question. Here a sampling of the types of questions that I hear.

  • We have assigned everyone in our church to a care group for pastoral care, intergenerational relationship building, discipleship and mission. How do we train our leaders?
  • The council has decided to start small groups in order to build community within our church and assimilate new people. How do we get started?
  • We launched small groups a few years ago with the expectation that everyone would be involved. In reality, less than 25% belong to a small group. How do we build enthusiasm for small groups?
  • Why don’t small groups work at our church? We tried to launch small groups a few times over the years but they just don’t seem to last.
  • What’s the difference between missional communities, small groups and triads?
  • Should we consider the choir a small group?

I usually start the conversations with something like, “That’s a great question! Would it be OK with you if we backed up a bit and talked about how your question fits with other small group discipleship leadership questions?” I almost hear a groan on the other side of the line. They were hoping for an easy answer. Instead, they politely agree to think about additional questions.

Next, I explain that small group discipleship leadership is a lot like gardening. A gardener has predictable, ongoing tasks. Some of the tasks are fun and exciting; others require perseverance and hard work. Similarly, small group discipleship has a likely set of leadership roles. I clarify that I am not a great gardener but I watch Patti, my next door neighbor. She has a beautiful garden. In fact, Patti loaned me her favorite gardening book where I discovered several gardening tasks that all start with the letter “p”! Then, I adapted the gardening questions to fit a ministry context. The analogy seems to make sense and provides a good tool for leadership conversations.

I have attached the questions (using the analogy of gardening) for Small Group Discipleship Leadership Roles and Questions

What new questions would you add to the list? 

Posted in:
Image Credit

The Network hosts user-submitted content.
Posts don't necessarily imply CRCNA endorsement, but must comply with our community guidelines.

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.