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Lessons Learned

This post comes as a bit of debriefing from a conference I attended with our campus pastors and church planting center director the past couple of days. The conference focus was to learn a few things from a couple of churches who, like the Summit, have multiple worship sites (campuses). My main reason for being there was learning how becoming a multi-site church impacts how we “do small groups.” Be encouraged SummitLIFE leaders, one of the main things I came away with was that we are on the right track here at the Summit. Truthfully small groups are one of the areas that it is most difficult to see a direct impact on, but the impact is there and we must be ready to jump on the opportunity multi-site affords us to grow our small group ministry healthy. So whether you are a group leader here at the Summit, or a group leader or pastor at a church considering or already doing the multi-site model, here are a couple of take-aways I hope you find valuable. Group leaders at the Summit, dont be suprised to see these begin to take shape in our ministry!

  • COACHING MATTERS – In a breakout session on small groups two small group pastors/directors with very different looking models both agreed that having a coaching system in place to keep every leader connected and cared for is critical. Maybe the most critical of the whole thing. At the Summit we have just finished training a group of coaches who are currently making their first points of contact with our group leaders. Coaching (aka shepherding/supporting/caring…) is important in any model, but with group leaders attending different campuses, I may not see a group leader for months at a time. To ensure the Summit DNA is carried by all of our small group leaders, and to ensure they are growing personally as christians and as group leaders, it is critical they have a person of contact here at the Summit. Our coaches are those people. Really, if nothing else, I came away pumped about this decision we made this summer to make coaches a part of our system.
  • NEW CAMPUSES NEED NEW GROUPS! Though this wasn’t a prescribed step in launching a campus, It seemed readily apparent that one of the best ways to provide momentum to a new campus launch is to have small groups ready to add new people in right from the get go.

  • CLEAR COMMUNICATION: This one is really for me and our coaches, but can go both ways. It is essential that I communicate clearly and simply with our small group leaders. This isnt because small group leaders are incompetent (I cant begin to tell you how smart my small group leaders are here in the RDU area. Im pretty sure a few of them secretly run the world), but because we are more spread out than ever. So you other pastors and directors out there, learn how to simplify and clarify your vision. This is just a good habit to get into anyways.

  • SMALL GROUPS ARE MISSIONAL: This isnt just for multi-site churches, but the multi-site model offers new opportunities for small groups to adopt a missional mindset. For example, we are launching a new campus this Sunday on West Club Blvd in Durham. That is going to open up a slew of new opportunities to show the love of christ in a tangible way to a inner city-type community. With the launching of each new campus comes unique ways small groups can love our world that we didnt know about before. Launching campuses keeps the mission of loving our world in front of our small groups. That is a good thing.

Those are a few things, there are many more. Take them for what its worth. On a side-note, I learned that you can do about anything through an i-phone. I am now officially repenting from my techlust of that thing.

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