There are many in the post-modern-mega-Willow-Saddle-church world (just coined a new phrase) who would find it hard to believe that we still have churches who are just starting to try small group ministry. Yes, Chicago, its true ;-> To those of you in the trenches helping your churches explore new ways of reaching deeper levels of community (authentic relationships & discipleship) here is another example of a successful small group ministry launch.
Pastor: Rick Haworth
Church: Mentone Community, Mentone Alabama
Rick shared this in our Master's course and gave me permission to post it:
The message ? MCC took a evaluation from NCS and found our minimum factor was Building loving relationships and Empowering leadership. After meeting with a consultant and speaking with our leadership we believed that we could work on these two things through small groups. So this is the message, empowering leaders and building loving relationships. The main focus would be the relationship building.
I selected 8 key couples in the church and spent time sharing with them the core competences of MCC small group ministry.
The Launch: We used the worship folder to announce that Small Groups were coming in the fall. We used the announcement segment of our worship hour on Sunday AM, (We also used skits and sermons). Finally we used our annual Ministry Fair as a time of sign-up. We had the leaders there and advertising their group.
Post Launch: So far the only thing we are doing here is assigning each of the four new groups a time to serve as Sunday AM greeters. They are also responsible to get visitor info and send a note to new visitors. This still needs some work.
Sustaining the change: There are scheduled meetings with the leaders to debrief about their small group meetings. This is a time for questions, ideas and insights gained on how we can improve or so better with some things. Do we need to add more groups etc.