How to Keep Small Groups from Being Healthy Enough to Multiply in the Normal Way – Galen Currah – April 1999
Pastors with a pulpit-centered, institutional mentality who regulate small groups unwittingly frustrate group leaders and crush their groups. Here are tactics by which well-intentioned leaders often destroy the small groups that keep a church healthy:
Make small groups into home Bible study groups.
Make them into prayer groups.
Make them into committees.
Make them into social evenings.
Deny them the right to celebrate communion or hold serious worship.
Limit believers’ right to exercise their God-given spiritual gifts.
Deny them the right to be the church.
Require them to study sermon notes.
Require them to follow a study guide.
Require them to split up after a number of months.
Require them to receive members of other churches.
Discourage them from inviting unbelievers.
Discourage them from launching service projects.
Discourage them from preparing their own Bible lessons.
Discourage them from mixing age groups.
Fail to acknowledge them in congregational meetings.
Fail to advertise them to seekers and new members.
Fail to discuss their strategic importance in staff planning.
Fail to include their leaders in church planning.
Provide no training or mentoring to small group leaders.
Provide no staff oversight and counsel to small group leaders.
Provide no administrative support to small groups.
Provide no title or recognition of small group leaders.
Talk about small groups that caused church splits.
Talk about small groups that stagnated.
Talk about small group movements that died.
Talk about small group leaders who proved incompetent.
Ignore the small groups.
Ignore the small group leaders.
Ignore small group requests for staff support.
Ignore small groups’ successes.
Require their leaders to have Bible school or seminary.
Require them to be of a certain age, gender or social class.
Require them to take long, formal training courses.
Require them to have served as church officers.