SGN | How the Small Group Network has Helped our Small Group Ministry

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Tim Kerlin, Grow Group Pastor, Grace Church Melbourne

I've been looking after our 'Grow Groups' for three years now but always felt my meetings with the leaders were ineffective. 30 or so leaders would attend and one of them would ask me a question about their particular group. So, then I'd be addressing an issue that one of the groups had while 19 other group leaders and assistants were listening to something that was not relevant to them.

Then, I was invited to attend a Small Group Network Huddle (a network of pastors who work in small group ministry in Melbourne) where we share ideas about working with small groups and pray and support one another. This was a real eye-opener for me, as I didn't know such support existed. 

At one of those Huddle gatherings I heard of a leadership method where group leaders met in clusters. Leaders were clustered with others who led groups of similar nature—perhaps similar in size, or demographics. I decided to trial this method and it has turned out to be a very successful move. I now generally meet with four group leaders and their assistants in a smaller grouping. As the groups have similarity we have seen great success as now group leaders often solve issues themselves by brainstorming together or by sharing a method that worked for one of the groups.

This move has also had a positive biproduct, as now group leaders feel more involved as participants in our leadership structure rather than observers. All round it has been a ‘win-win’ for our small group ministry.

I will certainly be keeping up my involvement with my Small Group Network huddle. It not only provides me with ideas but with encouragement and support from others working in the same area of ministry as myself. It helps me feel that I'm not working alone!

The Small Groups with Purpose Conference is brought to you by the Small Group Network and Tracey Ware (SGN Country Leader – Australia)

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