“The role of a pastor is not to grow a big church. The pastor’s role is to grow mature disciples who make disciples.” The senior pastor is the most important person in any groups ministry. What the senior pastor promotes, speaks of, and does himself, church members do also. It’s essential that the senior pastor be involved in disciple making. That is, if he expects others to make disciples. — Rick Howerton
“The two factors that will influence you the most in the years ahead are the books you read and the people you’re around.” — Howard Hendricks in Teaching to Change Lives
Dr. Hendricks hit the nail on the head! Ministry leaders influence others, and are also influenced by others. In fact, the personal influence often determines the level of influence upon others. Careful consideration should be given to what you are reading and those whose company you treasure. — Bruce Raley
“The Holy Spirit of God has the mysterious ability to take the Word of God and apply it to people’s unique situations of life.” — Bruce Raley
“Tithing is an opportunity to prove to God that you trust Him and that you can be trusted with His money.”
Almost every group I’ve ever been in ended up having a discussion about tithing at some point. When this issue arises it’s essential that the group leader aid people in taking their eyes off of money and putting their eyes on God. Tithing has much more to do with faith than it does with numbers. The group member who tithes realizes that, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) And those who walk by faith grow to be more and more like Christ. — Rick Howerton
“Small groups that play together between meetings are much more apt to pray passionately for one another during meetings.”
What happens between group meetings has a direct effect on what happens at meetings. It’s important that small group leaders schedule times for group members to hang out and play together. When a group leader does this they create an environment that is both relational and transformational. — Rick Howerton
“The collective morale of your individual teachers equals the amount of organizational momentum you have.” — Allan Taylor in Sunday School in HD
Group ministry leaders have the responsibility to keep leaders excited, motivated, challenged, and ready for the future. If the morale of your group leaders or teachers is low, you need to examine your ministry to them. — Bruce Raley
“You have everybody in your church right now to do everything God wants you to do right now.”
The Bible says God places people in the body as He sees fit. When God puts people in a particular church, He has a purpose and ministry for that person. Our responsibility as leaders is to help people find their place of ministry in His church. — Bruce Raley
“Confession of sin without repentance turns a small group into a counseling session void of transformation.”
Small groups often talk about confessing sin to one another. In order to live holy lives, God calls every believer to repentance (a turning away from the sin activity confessed), which should always accompany the confession. It’s through the turning away from sin and striving to avoid such that the greatest transformation takes place. Group leaders would do well to speak often of repentance. In so doing they establish a practice that is both God glorifying and biblically responsible. — Rick Howerton
“Asking Christian brothers for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it signals one understands what Christian community is.” — Rick Howerton
Scripture often talks of meeting one another’s needs. Others only know a need exists when the person in need verbalizes what is needed. Too many are hesitant to tell brothers in Christ because they believe speaking of such things is a sign of weakness. We must remember that even the strongest of believers had his need met by the church. Paul speaks in Philippians of the church in Philippi aiding him. Evidently, he was man enough to make his need known.
“Churches with ineffective Sunday schools violate the very principles that make Sunday schools a viable organization: they dilute biblical teachings, fail to train effective teachers, replace systematic Bible teaching with other types of group activity, and relegate Sunday school to the status of one more church activity.” — Thom Rainer in Effective Evangelistic Churches
“98 percent of the churches (in Georgia) with the fastest growing Sunday schools involved their Sunday school leaders in training.” — Steve Parr Georgia’s Fastest Growing Sunday Schools
Did you catch that? Growth in Sunday School and leader training are directly related. Almost all of the fastest growing churches are focused on developing their leaders. What are you doing in this area? — Bruce Raley
“When small groups pray passionately, God responds appropriately.” — Rick Howerton
God always answers our prayers. He answers them one of three ways — no, grow, or go:
- No. Your request is not in my will.
- Grow. Your request is in my will, but I want you to grow by being persistent in prayer. Continue to pray and when the time is right, I will answer your prayer as requested.
- Go. Your the timing is right. I am answering your prayer now.