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canopypastor Posted - 08/07/2006 : 16:54:08
I pastor a two staff church of about 350 with 15 small groups. We went through both 40 Days of Purpose and 40 Days of Community. We started lots of new groups each time, but most of them died a few weeks or months later. At the present time our small group ministry is not producing enough new groups to keep up with church growth. Our adult small group attendance averages about 30% of adult Sunday morning attendance. We are considering going to the G12.3 strategy that Joel Comiskey advocates.

Has anyone else out there transitioned to G12 or G12.3 with success? What landmines should I avoid? Where should I start? We don't have and can't afford a small groups pastor at this time. Our layperson who heads up the small group ministry does not have the time or experience to lead the transition. It falls to me. Help!
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touchadmin Posted - 09/20/2006 : 10:01:24
Hmmm... three best books on cell groups?

1. Where do we go from Here by Ralph Neighbour - sure to motivate you to do cells flat out or run for the hills. There's no in-between.

2. Making Cell Groups Work by Scott Boren - the absolute best book on transitioning in print. And the content makes sense too... which one cannot say about a lot of other books on church change.

3. Community Life 101 by yours truly. I wrote this little book because regardless of what one finds in all the other books on cell groups and cell churches, pastors, church leaders and first-round cell members still don't get it. It's about relationships and the 6 days and 22 hours between cell group meetings that is important.

Hope this helps!

Randall Neighbour
Forum Administrator
canopypastor Posted - 08/22/2006 : 21:42:33
Thanks for the advice!

What are the two or three best books for me to read on the subject of cell groups?
touchadmin Posted - 08/22/2006 : 19:22:06
The best thing you can do at this point is insure your groups are holistic:
1. Make discipleship central to cell life, and adopt a "no member left behind" mentality about it. When your cell members become disciples of Christ, they'll mature, reach friends for Christ and you'll have all the new leaders you need for more groups.
2. Challenge the groups to pray for unbelieving friends in every meeting by name, and schedule game nights, bbq's and parties to connect with them. God has put them together for a very brief point in time (factoring in eternity!) to be salt and light in a dark world AS A TEAM.

My home church did 40 DOP and most of the groups formed are fizzling out now, just 4 months after we finished. It's reinforced my belief that groups cannot be programmically launched. They must grow out of a person's desire to pastor others, or what I'm calling "organic growth". This takes this reply full circle... focus the groups on making disciples and watch them grow numerically AND spiritually!

As far as how they're coached, start by asking 4 or 5 of your strongest leaders to call a couple of other group leaders once a month to encourage them. Keep the bar low for coaches initially. Then, after they've done this for 4-6 months, help them give their group to a member to take over and move them into full time coaching. If they do well with it, they should be encouraged to start a group if they have time and the desire to do it.

What I'm seeing today is mixed coaching systems in the same church, based on who can do what and how often they can do it. Hope that makes sense!

Randall Neighbour
Forum Administrator
canopypastor Posted - 08/08/2006 : 10:42:43
I notice that several folks have read my post. Are you using a traditional coaching structure or G12? How is your system working for you? How well are you growing up leaders and starting new groups? Please give me some feedback.

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