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Cutting the Competition

If you want small groups to succeed in your church, make sure your leaders have enough time to do them right.

Any church attempting to run a small-groups ministry will inevitably encounter a stiff obstacle to growth: the need for more leaders. This is actually a turning point in many respects - find a way to surmount this barrier, and there's a good shot your groups will thrive and your church will be blessed by a "culture of discipleship." Fall short, and your small-groups ministry will likely fall flat.

Of course, there is no shortage of recommendations on how churches can succeed in cultivating and training legions of group leaders (we are in the information age, after all). But recently I heard something new on this subject that makes a lot of sense.

I was interviewing Larry Osborne - pastor of North Coast church in Vista, California - on the subject of integrating church members into small groups.

One of the keys he mentioned was making sure that your best people are involved in the ministry as leaders (including, he added, pastors and staff?). Naturally, I was curious to know how North Coast ...

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