Every leader is called upon to make risky decisions. Leadership demands it. Why is this? Because a leader is someone who is willing to consistently evaluate the work they and their team is doing and make the necessary changes. After evaluating, the leader and their team will do whatever is necessary to accomplish the ultimate goal… whatever that goal may be.
In the small group world, there seems to be one thing that remains consistent. No matter what the culture is, no matter what city or country the group ministry is in, no matter who the pastor is of the church where the group ministry exists, there is one goal and one goal only that flows from the lips of every senior pastor and groups pastor when asked what they ultimately want to accomplish… to make disciples that make disciples.
My opinion is (and if you’ve read this blog for very long you know this is the drum I tend to beat often) that many group ministries are aiding the vast majority in friend making and community building without making mature disciples of them.
In order to make mature disciples we must expect more of those in our groups than coming to a weekly or every other week small group gathering. Between meetings they must be involved in ongoing Bible study (daily would be best), heart driven prayer, being a witness for Jesus Christ, and living for Jesus, even speaking His name, when in public places. Only through a daily journey with Jesus and living for Him unapologetically will someone become a mature follower of Jesus Christ.
The most risky decision a small group pastor will ever make will be to decide to ask more of the people in their groups than just showing up for meetings, meeting one another’s needs, and enjoying fellowship with one another. Why is this risky? Because few groups pastors are judged on how many people are growing to spiritual maturity, most are judged by how many are in groups and the higher the expectation of group members, the fewer group members you’ll have.
That’s why this decision is so very risky.