Four Things: To do and Not to Do
Posted on March 23, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Disciple-making
A national group of SBC small group leaders put out this question:
"If I were to use my groups as a means of connecting, strengthening, and growing the church, what four things would I need to make that happen?”
What NOT to do:
1. Buy one copy of Lifeway curriculum and photocopy it for every leader in your church. Never mind copyrights and unnecessary expense.
2. Lecture exclusively, endlessly, and erratically. Make up stuff as it hits you to stretch for time. Then have everyone – that means men, too – hold hands while you close in prayer. 
3. No matter how cavernous the meeting room, make sure no more than one teacher and class are in there. It isn’t a real class with more than one; that's called a breakout. And who wants to mess with clunky partitions?
4. Never break up the koinonia of a small group by starting new classes. Just steal from another flock in a struggling church to start a new class, if the man has at least five years teaching experience, a Bible teaching degree, and writes his own curriculum (saves unbudgeted mid-year expenditures). Then insist that he has to start his own class on his own time. 
Four things TO DO:
1. Relationships -- no need for name tags because members know each other and involve their networks, i.e., keeping groups “open” to new participants
2. Support -- in times of need the small groups participants are reliable, available, and capable partners
3. Transparency -- genuineness and willing to open themselves up without fear or hesitation because trust is complete
4. Accountability -- holding members responsible to do the things they volunteer to do; follow-up is essential
The “to do” recommendations are included in Truth That Sticks by Avery Willis and me, 2010, NavPress, with updated descriptions. 
--Mark Snowden serves as Director of Missional Leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
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