What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?
Andy Stanley posed that question during a podcast entitled Bold Leadership. As I was listening, the answer struck me:
Reaching 100% participation in small groups without the lead pastor being in a group.
It’s the white whale of small group ministry: having as many or more people attending small groups than attend weekend church services, and conventional wisdom says that the single most important factor in making this a reality is involvement of the lead pastor.
It makes sense. The pastor is the most influential person in the organization. They have 30 minutes of platform time every week. They make hiring and firing decisions. They usually have a high level of influence over the budget. And perhaps most importantly, people in the church value the input of the lead pastor over any other staff member. The reality is that even if a lead pastor is supportive of small groups, if he or she isn’t in one, it signals to the congregation that while groups may be a good thing, they aren’t an essential thing.
But what if it were possible? What if there were a way to lead a small group ministry such that it was reaching as many or even more people than the weekend services?
This would be revolutionary because there are churches where the lead pastor just isn't going to join a small group. There may be totally valid reasons for this, but the fact is that it's going to limit the scope of that church's small group ministry. But what if it didn't have to?