Richard Sweatman and I have recorded a series of PodCasts about the elements of a competent Growth Group leader. Together I think these five aspects set a really good foundation for church leaders who appoint Growth Group leaders, as well as for current Growth Group leaders who want to think about how to grow themselves.
This is really all just Richard’s material, that I get him talking about, and throw in my two-cents (when I have any).
The 5 core competencies of GG leading
Competency 1: Character
Competency 2: Knowledge of God
Core Competency 3: Teaching
Core competency 4: Encouragement
Competency 5: Team Leadership
Over the past 5 weeks, Richard Sweatman and I have been recording a podcast for GrowthGroup/SmallGroup leaders, with advice on how to helpfully deal with people suffering through mental illnesses in their groups.
It’s a very tricky topic, and I still think one of the best pieces of advice from Richard was that we, as leaders, should ask how someone’s mental illness affects them, rather than assume it’s just like the last person we spoke to. There’s always more to say, but I hope these are helpful. They’re each about 10-12 minutes long, so short enough to listen to on a short trip.
Cast #1 – An important framework for pastoring people with mental illness
Cast #2 – Diving into the mental illness conversation
Cast #3 – Leading people struggling with Depression
Cast #4 – Leading people struggling with Anxiety
Cast #5 – Professional services available for people you lead
If you’re in Christian leadership, you probably already think this. But don’t assume your people get it. You need to play out what it means…
If you have to choose between going to your small group or taking a non-Christian to a gospel event suited to them… You blow off small group and take your mate.
If you have the choice between leading your small group or taking a mate to hear the gospel, you tell your small group to fend for themselves ‘cause evangelism is more important.
If you think that, do you think your people think that?
I’m in no way against small church! Every expression of God’s people is valuable and beautiful. In fact, that’s why I’m writing these posts trying to debunk the idea that small church is not just different, but better.
- Myth: “Only certain people can “do” big church – like extroverts. Introverts need small churches”.
Really? There’s a few things to question about this idea…
The normal definition of an Introvert is someone who likes lots of time with a very few number of people (if any at all). That’s not a small church… in fact that’s not even a bible study group!
Introverts won’t like a church of 40-80 people either!! Sure, they won’t like a church of 1000, but using the introvert “card” to be with a group of 60 people doesn’t actually fly.
I would also argue that big churches can (not always) love introverts better than small churches. When you walk in the door of a small church, even up to 80 people, everyone sees you. You’re you still have to make small talk, you still have to fumble through chit-chat. You can’t go an sit off to the side away from people, because everyone notices you. It’s hell. But in a church of 200-1000, it’s large enough that you can “go-unnoticed” in the crowd – if you want to. You can join a small group of people mid-week to encourage each other.One more point… I would assume that extroverts are the best people to put in… small churches! They are really good at bouncing up to new people, having them over for lunch (in their own house – introverts hate that!). A small church full of introverts will always struggle to invite new people in and grow.
And as a final passing shot… should we really let a 20th century concept of “introvert/extrovert” have so great an impact on how we “do” church?!?! Methinks Satan is making a lot of ground through the selfish introspection such concepts promote.
- Myth: “Small churches grow faster” (here)
- Myth: “Small churches see more conversion growth” (here)
Churches have various groups within them, and you could call each of these groups a little church. But that’s not what we’re talking about. That’s not dual church membership.
If you are part of a Growth Group, that Growth Group and especially its leaders are part of a congregation/campus, and those congregations are part of the church which the Holy Spirit makes certain men/elders responsible for. The group of 10-15 you meet with are not an independent group. The leaders have been “appointed” by the church eldership. When you submit to your group leaders, its an expression of submission to the elders who appointed them.
And refusing to submit to your group leaders is an expression of refusing to submit to your elders/pastors.
So if you’re in one churches’ small group, but you go to another church on Sunday… which elders are you submitting to? Both? or Neither?