Hi Small Group Leaders,
In a series of open letters over the summer I’m focusing on several small steps we’ll be taking this fall to mature and deepen how we do small groups, so that we can more effectively make disciples who make more disciples.
In addition to having all of our groups develop their own group Rule of Life, we will be asking our small group leaders (at least one from each group) to attend a regular small group leadership community.
If I could go back to when I first came to Five Oaks in 1997, I think I’d require this and make it a weekly meeting. That sounds like a lot, and it maybe would be too much, but the reality is that if you have that going, it’s a lot easier to keep things simple and streamlined as a church. Less distractions or other ministry obligations pulling on leaders.
The reality of meeting regularly with leaders hit me at a pastors gathering with Bill Hybels a few years ago. He was sharing some leadership ideas and then doing a ministry Q&A with us.
He was particularly eager to share about a ministry he had only recently personally launched at Willow. Bill Hybels is an extremely busy guy running one of the largest churches in America and traveling the world training pastor through the Willow Creek Association. So he explained that it had been quite some time since he had directly led a sub-ministry of the church. But you could tell he was super energized by it.
As he was explaining how he ran his weekly meetings with the leaders of this ministry, one of the pastors asked, “Once it’s up and running well, will you reduce the frequency of your meetings with the leaders?” I’m pretty sure we were all amazed that he even had this weekly meeting.
Bill paused for a few seconds, thinking, and then answered, “I’ve never led a ministry in which I didn’t meet with the leaders every week.” That was his entire answer.
Reality is that we are not going to bring deep change to our small groups ministry and to our leadership without meeting regularly as leaders.
Reality also is that you are all very busy. That’s one of the reasons why we’re not going to meet weekly. We will offer this meeting once per month on Sunday mornings.
Will you be there? I hope so. I’ll tell you a little more about this monthly meeting in my next letter.