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Note: this post is the eleventh entry of a series entitled, “Rebuilding the Sunday School/Small Group Ministry in the Local Church.”

Three things your church can do to make your Small Groups more effective in our post-covid world.

No doubt, it’s been challenging to get our church ministries rolling again. Everything is different—even those foundational ministries we’ve depended on for years. As we struggle for normality, it can seem overwhelming.

Here’s the situation, there is bad news and good news. The Bad News – things will not go back to “Normal.” Stop trying to make it that way–you are only frustrating yourself. Recognize that some people are not coming back, (at least now). The Good News – You have the opportunity to be more intentional and focused. Small groups can focus more on relationships rather than just a weekly encounter at a specific time and place. We can care for, connect with, disciple and reach people in new ways. It is time to embrace reality and move forward. Here’s how:

  1. Re-Tool Small Group Leaders – Training is more important now than pre-Covid. Address longstanding small group concerns in new and exciting ways. Equip leaders with the tools and knowledge on how to care for, connect with, disciple and reach people in new ways, for new times. Many have already incorporated new tools. Some have embraced new-found methodologies. Others are choosing to ignore the new realities and stick with tried and true methods. Regardless of how your leaders feel about the new reality, focus on how to help them customize their experience to effectively lead disciples who make disciples. Help them understand how and why. Be the one to make that happen.
  2. The Church Must value Small Groups – Everyone from the Pastor down to the pew sitter needs to view the role of church small groups as a priority. Something becomes a priority only when given the time, energy and attention to become an effective organization. Small group ministry is hard work. The Pastor must take the lead in promoting the value of small groups and spend time to make sure groups are at peak efficiency. Every church member should be challenged to be a member of a small group. When the church begins to make small group ministry a priority, then—and only then, will it become what the church needs in order to make disciples that make disciples.
  3. Make Disciples that Make Disciples – The Great Commission has always been the barometer for evaluating focus and effectiveness within our communities. Ask yourself…how does your church make disciples? What are the characteristics and markers of a disciple? How do your programs and ministries help accomplish the objective? Are the leaders equipped to understand their role in making disciples that make disciples? Everything a church is and does should have a purpose. Every ministry, every program, every event needs to help propel your church and your people to a closer walk with God which produces more disciples of Christ. It’s time to stop and consider, why we do what we do, every week, every month, every quarter and every year. Is what we are doing accomplishing what God wants us to accomplish?

Regardless of where you are, who you are or what you are doing, God loves you and your church. He wants you to become the people of God that He desires you to be. Right now, you have everything you need to be that church. If we can help you discover your next steps to being that church, please contact us. We are here to help.

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Sean Keith
I am the Sunday School/Discipleship Strategist. My goal is to assist Louisiana Baptist Churches in developing and utilizing their small groups strategy to make disciples and accomplish the Great Commission. I would love to assist any church in developing a path forward towards a healthy, growing church.

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