Just a quick thought for today's blog entry

For the last few years, I have read and heard authors (in small group conferences) talk about how important it from a sociological aspect to create small groupings for people in church because they need intimacy and real relationships, which they aren't going to get in the big congregational services.

This has motivated many pastors to launch small groups. This may sound like a caring and nurturing thing to do... and noble it is!

However, the theological mandate to equip and release the saints for the work of their ministry is what should drive a pastor to start small groups and stop thinking about using small groups to fill in the sociological gaps created when the focus of the local church is on the pulpit.

How much of your small group momentum is created by supplying people with what's missing instead of what God has called us to do in the way of preparing and releasing others for ministry in the context of a basic biblical community or small group?

For two years now, I have been driving to work using the same road. There's one pothole that's really bad, and I work to avoid it at all costs. Every couple of months, a road crew comes out from the city and dumps a bunch of hot asphalt into the hole and smoothes it out. Problem is, the hole swallows it up and a month later, the hole is as bad as ever.

The problem? There's undoubtedly a leaking or broken water supply or sewer line below it that's washing everything away from the bottom.

Small group ministries based on sociological needs are a lot like that sink hole. They'll be a constant nagging problem to keep full until the underlying issue is addressed. If your theology is to equip people to share their faith and disciple new believers, make that the reason for your groups.

One day, I will see a city plumbing crew digging the whole street out to get to the broken pipes to fix the problem. It will be a huge undertaking and very expensive. However, once they get it done it will be good for many years, and the pavement guys won't need to come back out. That's what a lot of churches need to do with their small group ministry. Tear everything up and find the root causes of attrition and a lack of organic growth from within the groups.

1 comment:

Iain said...

Hmm - I like the way you said that...
Back to the Ephesians 4 mandate - sometimes it's easy to get distracted from clear biblical mandates!