Blog
Four Keys to Small Group Success
Posted on December 27, 2018 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Disciple-making
A few years ago, I conducted research in 15 small groups using Bible Storying as their method of disciple-making. When looking through transcripts with leaders and experiencing their work, four themes emerged. These elements became four keys to success among those who were doing it best.
 
The small groups that were growing spiritually and numerically were relational, supportive, transparent, and accountable.
 
Accountability is what needs the most attention. It had to be in the DNA of the group.
 
Obedience and accountability are two major bonding elements in discipleship. How much time and effort does your present small group or Bible study class take to make specific applications and ensure that members put them into practice individually and as a group?
 
What No Place Left teaches in Discovery Bible Studies (and I do in TruthSticks Bible studies) and in my orality workshops leads people to obey the commands and examples in the stories. Obedience is simple to talk about, but not so easy to do. But with orality being so reproducible, those telling Bible truths over and over can't help but witness more and grow more, too.
 
If we know these four keys, why don't we do them? Margie Blanchard, wife of author Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager, Lead Like Jesus), says, “The gap between knowing and doing is significantly greater than the gap between ignorance and knowledge.”
 
We, as NPL practitioners, need to hold people accountable to what we volunteer to do. We'll never get to church unless discipline is in our discipling.
 
-- Mark Snowden is the Director for Missional Leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. 
This blog was originally posted in No Place Left Ohio's Facebook page.
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