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Developing Leaders for Small Groups

I shared in our most recent quarterly edition of The Unstuck Church Report: Benchmarks & Trends in Church Health that our data is showing one of the key differences between healthy growing and declining churches is that healthier churches have home-based groups as one of the primary ministries of the church.

There’s something about building community in somebody’s home that’s just a little bit easier than a classroom—with one big caveat. You have to have a lot of leaders for it to scale. And developing more leaders seems to always be something pastors tell me they are struggling to manage their time well enough to do.

So, how do you develop more small group leaders? Turns out, an emphasis on multiplication is one of the things churches tend to leave out of their small groups strategy. It’s also one of the things that helps you develop more small group leaders.

In this episode, I invited Chris Surratt to speak into this topic. You may know Chris from his work at several large multisite churches, including SeaCoast Church in South Carolina, CrossPoint in Nashville. Or you may know him from his work as the Discipleship and Small Groups Specialist at LifeWay. Or as the author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us. Or because he’s on my team at The Unstuck Group as a ministry consultant.

And if you don’t know Chris, just listen to the episode. He’s a wealth of experience and practical wisdom when it comes to small groups.

Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation:

  • Why you should focus your group leaders to be thinking beyond just the people already in their living rooms
  • Practical tips for effective, multiplying groups
  • How the language churches tend to use when talking about group multiplication sabotages the goal
  • The best strategies for continually launching new groups AND for developing more leaders

We tend to use negative language unintentionally when we talk about multiplying groups. We’ll say split or divide—but that’s not really what we’re doing. The reason for multiplication goes back to creating disciples. #unstuckchurch… CLICK TO TWEET 

The best way to create new groups is to raise up leaders. If you’re raising up a leader in your group, you are discipling them. #unstuckchurch [episode 98]

Tony is founder and chief strategic officer of The Unstuck Group, a company that helps churches get unstuck through consulting and coaching experiences designed to focus vision, strategy and action. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church in Dallas, Georgia, NewSpring Church in South Carolina, and Granger Community Church in Indiana. He’s written several books, as well as articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com. He writes about leadership regularly at tonymorganlive.com. His next book, The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health, will be available from Thomas Nelson in May 2017.
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