Now, if you have read it but need a recap of the first 2 gauges we talked about to help all of us to improve, here is that recap:
Gauge 1: Strategy Gauge: Making sure you have aligned your systems and processes so that your staff, your leaders, and your parents lead with the same end-in-mind.
Gauge 2: Experience Gauge: Craft core truths into engaging, relevant, and memorable experiences. You don’t want people to leave without feeling like they were a part of an experience. It is that experience that people share around the water cooler on Monday.
Now for the third Gauge:
Groups Gauge: Here is where you want to make sure you are creating a culture that truly grows and develops leaders who serve in your ministry. Self-reliance is one of the greatest threats a church leader can face. It overestimates your abilities and diminishes the impact of your team. So develop your teams!
Volunteers matter. A community is formed there. There is an importance in serving in that ministry. There is also an importance of “prioritizing small groups at every stage of life”.
1. Place preschoolers in small groups to connect parents.
– parents want to know the people who keep their kids to know their kids
– in the toddler room, small group leader in the room is connected to 8 kids. Everyone cares for every kid, but that leader has 8 kids to follow-up on and care for. Changes everything about communication.
– small groups help little people understand the big idea of God they can’t see by connecting Him to their concrete worlds
– in small groups, kids learn from leaders how to pray and talk to God.
– with parents, you are working against parents’ sense of apprehension. Relationships take that away!
2. Place elementary kids in small groups to help them understand faith and lead them to take the next steps toward Christ
– most of what we learn foundationally, we learn in elementary school.
– help apply big ideas from the Word to their lives. Never just teaching to teach. Never just covering information.
– relational investments in kids give influence to both parents and kids.
– creates a consistent environment to learn bible skills and spiritual habits
– safe and relational environment for kids to ask questions about trusting in Jesus
3. Middle school: help them personalize their faith.
– a place to belong. they are looking for their pack.
– A safe place to discuss challenging issues
– challenge kids by application of scripture
4. High school: give another adult voice
– the greatest gift for a high school parent is another adult pointing them in the same direction
– in the middle of the crowd, they don’t want to be alone.
– challenge students to put faith in action
If you start small groups in high school, kids won’t be comfortable. That’s why you start in preschool years. Most importantly, start with whatever and wherever you are. This group gauge will look different between small and large churches. The basic difference is: in a small church, you don’t need to break the church down smaller. Use the gathering times you may already have to carry out the group’s gauge. In a large church, you need to break the church down into smaller groups for everything explained above.
I hope you see the importance of this “Group Gauge”. How may you change and improve your group gauge in your ministry? Why do you see this as a valuable thing to do?
I have had the privilege of being a Full-Time Pastor for 27+ years. During this time God has allowed me to pastor children, youth, parents, and help to develop leaders of all ages and generations.
I am married to Rachel, the best wife that God could have handpicked for me. We have been given three incredible gifts from God by the names of Jenelle, Camille, and Zachary.
Lastly, I enjoy fishing with family, reading about leadership, task management, all things Macintosh, and gadgets.