Small Groups

What You Won't Learn at the Big Church Conference

What You Won't Learn at the Big Church Conference

I can vividly remember sitting at my office desk one year ago beyond frustrated.

This wasn’t a normal “this is tough” moment that comes with ministry. I literally was beside myself. Every end of the year season, I review steps taken in the past 12 months to identify the positives and also areas to improve.

The only problem was my inability to see through my frustration. Everything looked like an area to improve. No rose colored glasses here. Call it what it was (a pity party), but I couldn’t see any wins for the year.

My main area of focus at our church is small groups. When we arrived at the church, there were three groups in total. My mandate handed to me by my pastor at the time? “Build me a small group system that holds 1,000 people.”

Ok. Yes, sir.  Will do. (Because don’t we all start at a “I’m going to act like I know what I’m doing until I figure it out” position at some point or another?)

So I studied. I prayed. I found systems at other churches. My podcasts were on repeat, and most importantly – I attended classes and conferences. Over a six month span my notebook was full… and so was my brain.

Soaking up all I could, it was time to move to practical application. Following what we felt was best for the church culture and community, my team implemented the steps we heard for more than a year.

Dedicated and meticulous, we embodied the values that were taught. No suggestion went unimplemented. We did everything we were told and our small groups still weren’t consistently growing, neither in number of leaders nor attendance.