Oil is one of those natural resources that would be almost impossible to live without. Not only does it lubricate our gears and provide gas but it also makes a total slew of other things. Plastic bottles, diapers, fishing line, nylon, cosmetics, pills, candles, the list goes on and on.
Here's my point. You never hear an oil worker say, "Time to go drill for some golf balls" or any other "by-product" made from oil. The purpose for drilling is oil, so that's what they drill for.
I believe the same can be applied for small groups. When I ask, "what is the purpose of the small group" I get the same answers; fellowship, accountability, care, community, friendships, bible study, etc.
Let me interject and say, there is nothing wrong with any of those answers; here me, what I am saying is that those things should be a natural by-product of Christians meeting together. Right?
Sure you should promote those things and live out those things, but they shouldn't be the purpose. (at least in my opinion. My vote for small group purpose is Kingdom; which means making disciples and multiplying)
It's kind of like when a company or church makes a list of "core values" and hang them on the wall. You've seen them; "We are a company that values, Integrity, Honesty, Character, Teamwork, etc"
The problem is not the values, it's just their kind of......well....they're......just there.
Typically those values are gathered by looking around at the group and saying, "yes that's who we are."
I love how Patrick Lencioni put it in his book, "The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family." He states, "The key about core values is not to have too many of them. Organizations tend to compile a list of things they think sound nice....because they want to cover all their bases. Many times those things are simply a permission to play value, not the core"
He's right! What company or church wants a dishonest employee or church member? How about lacks character? Doesn't play well with others? See, those are givens or like he says, "permission to play.'
Here are 6 questions that will help as you develop and launch or even relaunch your small group ministry.
1.) What is the ultimate reason you have small groups? (core purpose)
2.) What are the essential characteristics that your small group must never violate? (core values)
3.) What are the fruits you want to see displayed in the small group? (by-products)
4.) When your group meets, what is it's biggest priority and what needs to be done to achieve it? (goals)
5.) What steps are in place to help you achieve your core purpose as a group? (strategy)
6.) Who has to do what to achieve your goals? (roles and responsibilities)
I hope you enjoyed these last three posts on Small Groups. Be blessed and be fruitful and multiply!