Is your church healthy enough to launch small groups?

There are four distinct traits found in churches that implemented holistic small groups (or cell groups) successfully. While the churches in our ministry’s case study research were far from perfect before they started groups, they rated higher in four key areas:

A permission-giving structure
Implementation was less challenging when the lead/senior pastor had permission to lead the congregation into the vision and mission given to him by God.

A willingness to change
When the staff, deacons, elders, and lay leaders were willing to make radical changes to fulfill God’s call on their church, it made launching groups much easier and more fun.

High-energy worship services
Doing anything new for a group of people requires a lot of energy. These churches found that energy from their congregational gatherings fueled a shift away from building-centric programs to highly relational small groups.

A passion for God expressed through prayer
In each of the churches that implemented groups successfully, prayer was a central focus in their member training, leader development, and corporate gatherings. These churches were filled with members who were passionately pursuing God’s call on their lives.

Is your church ready to launch groups?
Before you launch your first group, you should get in-depth feedback from your staff members, key leaders, elders, deacons, and your spouse about these four areas of your church. While your own thoughts on these four areas are indeed important, a major shift in the way you do church will require the input and support of your key leaders and staff. After all, you will make this journey together, so it’s good to know where they stand on critical issues and how they perceive your church in these four key areas.

There are two ways to secure this information from your key leaders and staff:

1. Purchase a copy of The Navigation Guide for Making Cell Groups Work, which contains a 52-question survey (and hundreds of articles from experts and pastors who implemented groups successfully). You can then duplicate the survey found on pages 199-204 and distribute it to key people and collect them. A scoring chart is found on page 205, and there are support articles to help you shore up weak areas you may find.

2. Call TOUCH at 1-800-735-5865 and we will set up the survey online for you. For a small donation to our ministry, we will supply you with a web link to forward to your key leaders and staff members. When everyone has completed the online survey, we will supply you with summary of the results and visit with you at length with a 45 minute phone consultation covering any areas of concern you should address before you begin groups. (Because we work with hundreds of churches, we can spot small things in the survey results that make a big difference in a church’s success or failure when launching groups that pastors typically do not recognize.)

We’ve yet to work with a pastor who did not discover something new about his church after using this assessment tool with 25-30 of his key people. Take advantage of this eye-opening tool today!

Read another free article on starting your groups by clicking here.