Share Button

Here are 4 signs that your small group ministry could use some changes.

Attendance Declines

When people stop coming on a regular basis to your small group ministry it might be time for one of two things; change the ministry and the focus, depending on how many members don’t come anymore or just let it end.  Churches are a lot like people; they are born, they live, and then they die.  It’s not the end of the world when a small group ministry dies.  Don’t wait for this to happen.  You could survey the group members before this happens and on a regular basis and ask what they’d like to see changed or what areas need improvement.  It’s not a bad idea to do this survey anonymously so people are more likely to speak their mind and not be hesitant to suggest something for trying to improve it and if others are in attendance they might be inhibited by the presence of others and what they might think about other people’s ideas so that they might never come to the surface.  You don’t want any of the members reluctant in speaking their minds because like true friends, they will tell you the truth and they will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

A Lack of Volunteers and Leadership

If you are starting to have a hard time finding a new leader for the small group and you haven’t had any new members come in to replace any members who’ve left, then you might want to think about looking closer at the mission statement or purpose for which this small group ministry was established in the first place.  Also, if you are starting to have no-shows or no one wants to do activities or ministries for which the small group was created, it might be a good indication that some changes are needed.  Either the activities or the ministry is not as fruitful as it hoped to be or it’s not going the way that the small group anticipated.  Interest can wane at times and when the small group members start to decline in volunteering for the group’s activities or ministries then the group might have reached its shelf life and it might be time to finally move on.  This is why ongoing, continuous evaluations are needed to be in place so that the small group can grow in ways that reflect the group’s purpose and both the group’s purpose and their ministry might be evolving into something better than what was originally purposed.

Dissention and Gossip

Gossip and dissention can kill any small group ministry and they can do it very quickly. Churches have been known to die or split over such factitious behavior of membership and the same thing can happen to small group ministries.  Just as no church is immune to dissention and gossip, so is no small group ministry.  If there is consistent infighting during the meetings and even outside of the meetings by members of the small group and they begin to divide and wrangle over things that the small group has done, is doing or even plans to do, it’s time to meet with the group and do a reevaluation of the ministry’s members.

No Change, no Growth

When the group has met for a considerable amount of time and there has been little or no effectual change in the member’s personal lives, then clearly it’s not working.  When there is no life change in the members of the group, it might be time to either change the agenda or the lessons or the study habits of the group.  Is the Bible consistently accessed in the group and used as a sort of guidebook?  Are meetings shifting to different member’s homes?  Do people in the group or in the church rarely if ever talk about this group outside of the group?  Are all the decisions made by one person or are the decisions made by the majority of the members and by mutual consent?  Does it feel like you’re getting in a rut?  Do you believe that people are starting to make excuses for not coming or do people actually feel like they dread coming now?  If there is little or no change in the lives of the members and there is little or no spiritual growth, something is seriously wrong.  That is a bad sign for your small group ministry.


There are certainly more than just four signs that your small group ministry needs some changes but certainly if membership begins to decline, if you are having difficulty finding leaders of the group and volunteers to carry out specific functions and duties of the group, if dissention and gossip starts to surface, and if there is little or no change in the member’s lives, then you’ve got some reevaluation to do if your small group ministry is to survive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.