These are simply five good questions to help you think practically, and strategically, about what you're trying to do. They provide a last bit of wisdom with which to close the book, and our tour. Read on . . .
Chapter 19: Before You Start: Five Key Questions
Post written by Zach Nielsen on Take Your Vitamin Z.
I was asked to review Chapter 19 of Sticky Church by Larry Osborne (pastor of North Coast Church in San Diego) for today's Sticky Church blog tour.
Sticky Church looks to be a great book that focuses on making your church strong through small groups. I am a firm believer in the need for a culture of small groups in most churches. People need a context for fleshing out the “one anothers” of the Bible and a small group is one of best places that can happen.
In Chapter 19, of Sticky Church, Larry Osborne lays out five essential questions that need to be asked before launching a thriving small group ministry. I’ll briefly comment on each question.
Who are you trying to reach?It seems that Sticky Church could be a very helpful book for pastors and lay leaders to consider. I was only assigned Chapter 19, so I can’t comment on the whole of the book, but from what I have read I certainly plan to read more as I think through making small groups one of the programmatic centerpieces of our church plant in 2010.
Another way to ask this question would be, who are you willing to leave out? We all know that every structure for ministry that we select will likely leave someone out. This is inevitable. Being able to identify this will help you be more effective in creating a small group culture that works.
What do you plan to do in your meetings?
These options are endless, but we should keep in mind that what we do in our meetings should reflect who we feel called to reach. Which leads to the third question...
How well does who you want to reach match up with what you plan to do?
Who you want to reach and what you plan to do need to be aligned or there will be a detrimental disconnect between the two. You will basically let your content define who you reach. This may be ok, but just be aware of it.
How do you think people are best trained to live out the Christian life and best prepared for leadership?
He lists three ways: 1)Mentoring, 2)Education, and 3)Apprenticeship. He gives some helpful pros and cons of each. The important thing he notes is that you need to be aware of which one best suits your style as a church. If you don’t, your small group ministry could suffer greatly.
Who already does what we want to do well - and does it in a church we would go to if we lived in the area?
Why reinvent the wheel? Learn from the mistakes of others. You don’t have time to make your own. Humble yourself and learn from those who have gone before you. Just make sure that you are seeking programmatic wisdom from like minded people with a similar ministry style. If you are a hard-core Willow Creek style church you probably are not going to want to go to a PCA church to learn about small groups.
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3 John 8