Small Groups are Easy. Discipleship is Hard.

Leadership Lesson #49: Starting small groups is easy.  Making disciples is hard.

You want small groups?  Those are easy.  I can get you small groups.  Three steps:

  1. Find an extrovert.
  2. Give them curriculum.
  3. Tell them to invite their friends.

Okay, so I’ve oversimplified that, and no, I don’t think extroverts are necessarily better leaders.  But you get my point.  It’s easy enough to get a few people in a circle and have a conversation.  It’s hard to move from talking in a circle to relationships where lives are really changed.

I’m not going to pretend I’ve got this figured out.  You’ll notice I didn’t title this post, “Three Keys to Discipleship.”  I don’t have all of the answers.  I know it takes time.  It takes dedication.  It takes hard work.  You have to be teachable.  You have to be willing to expose your faults.

You can’t do disciple-making justice in a soundbite.  I could write a twenty page post on the subject, and others far more knowledgeable than I have written many books.  Sufficed to say, don’t assume just because you have small groups that everyone in those groups is being discipled.

The Come to Jesus Meeting

Altar calls aren’t something we’ve done very much in recent years here at NCC, but they’ve been happening a lot more recently. We’re in a place where we’ve been challenging people to make a decision to put Jesus in charge of their lives. Over the coming days I’ll be going through the Gospels looking for stories of those who decide to follow Jesus. I’m excited to read the stories of those early believers.

As Mark, our senior pastor, put it, we want to help people to start a journey, not just raise a hand during a service and go on with business as usual. We are commanded to make disciples, not “get converts.” Disciple implies relationship and committment. There is a conversion experience, but we are called to a journey of faith with Christ and fellow believers, not just a one time intellectual act.

Small Groups Mailing List

Last Thursday we held an event called Connect at National Community Church. Our goal was to bring small group ministry point leaders (i.e. small groups pastors/directors/chief volunteers) together to share best practices and just to get to know each other.

This week, we’ve started a Google Group to continue the conversation. We want to create a community for community creators and provide a forum to share best practices, provide advice on curriculum, etc. We’ll also be using this to announce future Small Groups related events at NCC. If you’re interested in joining, leave a comment, and I can sign you up or provide some more info.