This post is from a recent conversation with Frank Kozub of Oasis Pentecostal Church in Jastrzebie, Poland. Frank leads a Small Group Network huddle and is the point person for the small group ministry in his church. Frank is also a small group leader, one of five small group coordinators and a member of the elder board.
Frank’s daytime job is as a quality manager in an international automotive company producing exhaust systems.
Why did you join the Small Group Network (SGN)?
The Network opens the windows to share and inspire people involved in small group life and development. And this is what we badly need in our church. Through the SGN I can meet people from all different churches, countries and cultures showing me that churches built on small groups are able to exist and grow regardless of the cultural or religious context they are in.
Have you noticed any difference in your small group ministry since you joined the Small Group Network?
Definitely. Observing people from other churches when sharing or asking questions, giving advice or answers, I try to look for things that are similar also in our church. For example, vision and planning, leaders training, communication with the church about small group activities. Our Small Group table concept was built as a result of learning from others sharing in the SGN.
What has the Small Group Network done for you personally, and what has it done for the small group ministry in your church?
Personally, I find myself surrounded by so many like-minded people who are there, ready to cheer, give advice, share; in other words, the Small Group Network is sort of a family. For our church, I use SGN as proof that healthy small groups and growing churches are possible, even in countries like Poland. When things get difficult, I tell my church friends, “Look we are not the only ones struggling, we must get through it. It is part of the journey because I see that others had to go through it before, and they finally succeeded. We can look at Bulgaria, Germany, Russia.” How would I know that if not for the SGN?
What big problem did the Small Group Network help you solve?
The biggest problem I have struggled with is planning, as our church culture is not used to working according to a systematic plan. Having shared this challenge with others in the SGN I discovered that I had to adjust and, instead of getting into frustration mode because of lack of clear planning, I took another approach: I started to patiently work with the pastor and the group of coordinators to introduce some elements of planning over a short period, like a quarter. Next year we are going to have a one-year calendar with main events planned, and will do some specific planning for training and special events. It slowly changes.
Note: Frank recently led a small group leader retreat in his church which was captured in a short 3-minute video. Great music, great fun, great planning – check it out: https://youtu.be/l3QzaF54CQU