1- Ask Questions
2- Reflect on the Good
3- Set Goals to Improve
As the adage says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, and I believe that is true. The thing I love about December is that it is a bridge, or a grace period, between the time we are reflecting on what we are grateful for in our lives and the time where we will set new goals and focal points in our lives. The same is true of our small groups. As small group point people, I am sure that many of us look at what is working really well in our groups towards the end of the year. We look around at the great relationships that have been built, and we build this anticipation for what we hope lies ahead in the coming year. In essence, we are waiting with expectation for what God will do as many waited with expectation for the Messiah in the Advent season.
There are three tips that I have found to be helpful for growing and strengthening our small groups, especially when a new year is right around the corner:
Ask Good Questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask leaders what they hope to accomplish by the end of the small group season. You or other small group point people can ask things like, “How is your group growing?” or “How are you making disciples in your group this season?”
Then encourage the small group leaders to do the same in their group. Have the leaders ask the participants questions like, “What do we love about our small group? Where is God asking us to grow? Where do we need to step out of our comfort zone as a group?”
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John Maxwell says, “Good leaders ask great question that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more.” Learn to ask more questions!
Reflect on the Good.
Learn what is going on in each group so that you know what matters in your groups. If it is connecting with others through authentic conversation, have your small group point people created a space for that this season? If it is diving deep into Scripture, was everyone held accountable? What are some of the wins your groups had this season? Take time to learn and reflect on what God has done thus far in each of your groups and in the lives of the members.
Set Goals to Improve.
It’s easy to operate on autopilot sometimes. The hardest thing is to set new goals and invite change into a group. As we enter a new year, what are some goals that you want all of your small groups to accomplish this year? Each year, as a staff, we all ask for a revelation from God for one word that we feel God will use and speak into throughout the rest of the year. We often ask each other, “What is your one word?” The same can be applied to small group ministries- what is your one word that God is asking you to shape all of your goals, aspirations, and mission around in the year 2018? Then find creative ways to communicate the word to each of your small groups, such as “Home” or “Connection”. Regardless of the word, don’t get too far into 2018 without asking good question, reflecting on the good, and setting goals to continually improve. You never know what God has in store!