"In small group ministry, people don't do what you expect, they do what you inspect."
I recently read this online. Even though I've said this to small groups pastors and group leaders before, I don't think I'm going to say it to them any longer. Why?
Because the expectations (and subsequent inspections) too often come from the leader, not from God!
It would be far better to apply a different perspective on group leadership that is healthy and Christ-centered...
"In small group ministry, people don't do what God wants them to do because they haven't had enough my your time, concern, love, mentoring, and prayer support."
So, no more man-made expectations, delegations, and subsequent inspections. Together we must do what GOD has called us to do. He's the Great Inspector.
I think the healthiest mentality for a small groups point person or pastor to have with his or her small groups would be that of a counselor. If you've ever spent time with a Christian counselor, they ask questions such as:
"What's God calling you to do and be for him on earth?"
"What keeps getting in the way of that?"
The counselor doesn't tell you what to do (well, the good ones don't!). They ask you questions and help you make your own decisions.
I know most pastors practice their counseling side most of the time, but when that doesn't work, human nature takes over... they start deciding what God wants for the small group ministry and then tells everyone what to do and how to do it. That's when inspecting your expectations become so important.