Oklahoma Baptists are in the beginning stages of a new strategy of connecting people to the Gospel, each other, the Bible, and God’s mission by emphasizing the importance of small groups and Sunday School in the lives of church members. As we are forging ahead, I am discovering that we have an amazing lack of stories about transformed lives resulting from small group ministry. It’s not that lives are not being changed in small groups. Rather, it is that we (church and denomination leaders) are not very good at discovering the stories of changed lives because we rarely ask our group leaders to share stories of transformation from their group.
I am recommending that we start asking a simple question every time we get together with small group leaders, whether it is informally over a cup of coffee or formally at an official meeting of group leaders. That question is:
What is the best thing that happened in your small group this week?
This question helps us in at least four specific ways…
- It communicates that we expect transformation rather than just information in our groups and classes.
- The question communicates that groups are worth it.
- We are communicating that we have positive group expectations.
- It gives the church leaders stories that can we can share to communicate hope to people who are desperate and do not know where to turn for help.
Let me encourage you to ask that simple question of your group leaders every time you get together. It may be awkward at first, but over time they will come to expect the question and they will start looking for spiritual transformation from within their group.