What Can a Small Church do? Part 2

Read part 1

Small groups are a powerful training ground for developing future leaders.

Let me make sure you are hearing me right. Through developing leaders, small churches can gain the info-structure needed to reach out from their church into the community.

The pastor of a small church would often love to see everyone be involved in small groups. One goal as a pastor of a small church should be to train leaders that will be caregivers and nurture the people under their care. Small groups can facilitate not just fellowship and growth for the members of the group, but the training and coaching of future leaders. To accomplish this, the pastor must devote time to mentoring those leaders as a group and one-on-one. Would you invest the next two years of your life into training and developing leaders?

Where do I start?

Start by getting a list of your resources. Get yourself some spreadsheets and see what you are doing. Run the numbers and make your plan. Here are some examples of how to start:

List all the names of your adults (college or older) on a spreadsheet.

List the average attendance per month in morning worship.


  • 1 time a month = 25%
  • 3 times a month =75%
  • 4 or 5 times a month = 100%

List the average attendance if they also attend a small group.


  • Consider a small group that meets two times a month. If a member attends once, you would put down 50%.

Spreadsheet 1

Names of                    Attendance Monthly                  Average Attendance
Adults Average       at AM Worship                               in a Small Group

Trey Hard                                  75%                                                        50%

Joe Good                                  100%                                                     100%

Mary Tries                                 75%                                                          0%

Will B. Better                           25%                                                          0%

          4                                            68%                                                          37%

It does not help you to have a high percentage. If they don’t attend, don’t count them.

You should end up with a total count of your adults and a total average in attendance for your morning worship. If you have small groups, you should have a total average as well.

Note: If members attend less than once a month on average, put a 0% in the column by their name

From the list above – list the number of current active leaders/elders

List the number of church-related activities they are involved in, no matter where they meet.

Spreadsheet 2

Names of Active Leaders/Elders               Number each Month

1.  Joe Good                                                            3

2.  ____________________                                         ____

3.  ____________________                                         ____

Working from Spreadsheet 1, can you come up with a list of potential leaders that you could pair with an active leader/s in Spreadsheet 2?

Pair these leaders close to each other geographically, if possible.

Spreadsheet 3

Active Leader                         Potential Leader

1a.  ____________________      1b.  ____________________

2a.  ____________________      2b.  ____________________

3a.  ____________________      3b.  ____________________

Over the next 6-9 months, you are going to train these leaders.

Working definition for a small group

  • A small group is led by someone other than the pastor
  • A small group includes at least 1 potential leader (Spreadsheet 3)
  • A small group meets sometime other than a Sunday morning
  • A small group has between 4 and 12 adults including leaders
  • A small group can be made up of mixed gender or be gender specific
  • A small group can meet weekly or bi-weekly

How many small groups are active at least 6 months every year using the working definition above?

Spreadsheet 4

Leader/s              Number of Adults     Meet weekly, bi-weekly, monthly

1.  ____________________      ___________       ____________________

2.  ____________________      ___________       ____________________

Active in a Small Group

What was the total number of adults in your church ______? (Spreadsheet 1)

What percentage of adults in your church are involved in small groups? (Spreadsheet 1 – count the number of people that have a percentage in the small group column) See your list of your members and adjust the numbers, if needed, now that you have the working definition.

The percentage in small groups is _______ (Spreadsheet 1)

Now ask yourself, how much can I envision the average percentage in small groups growing in the next twelve months?

What would this be in numbers of people _______?

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