Question #1: Is your group healthy? A healthy group is a group that will naturally grow, develop, bear fruit, and reproduce.

Question #2: How do you know if your group is healthy or not?

Last spring I wanted to answer the second question so I could help our groups answer the first one. So I thought and prayed and asked other leaders and pastors and read and prayed some more. Finally I came up with what I called “7 Signs of a Healthy Group.” I’ve now modified that original list slightly.

What I want to do in this blog for a while is discuss these signs of a healthy group along with the correlating 3 results. So here they are with just a very brief definition for each.

1. Christ-Centered. The group leader and members recognize that God is the real leader of the group (the leaders are stewards of the group). Group meetings are focused on the presence and purposes of Christ in their midst (Matt. 18:20) rather than on curriculum, group issues, individual’s needs and desires, etc.

2. Healthy, Growing Leader. The group leader is growing in his or her faith by being involved in daily disciplines such as Bible study and prayer.

3. Core Team. The group is led by a Core Team of 2-4 members who share leadership. No one leads alone.

4. Goals & Plans. The group has a written “Action Plan” that includes a mission, goals, expectations, ground rules, etc.

5. Authentic Biblical Community. The group meets regularly & consistently. The group regularly prays for and ministers to one another. Group members participate in a role (shared ownership) in the group. The group is doing life together outside of meetings.

6. Disciple-Making. Discipleship (helping one another grow up spiritually) is intentional. The group engages regularly in group Bible study and application.

7. Mission-Minded. Christ’s mission (Matthew 28:18-20) is the group’s mission. The group regularly prays for their lost friends and is sharing their faith with others. The group is intentionally open to new people. The group is serving others together and/or individually (or has a plan to do so if the group is new).

The RESULT or “fruit” of a healthy group is a group that is …
• Growing
• Reaching Out
• Reproducing

What do you think of these 7 signs of a healthy group? Would you add any others? More importantly, how are you doing on these? Which does your group do well? With which do you struggle the most?

Next time we’ll dive into #1: Christ-Centered.

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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One Comment

  1. Jim E.

    November 2, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Hi, Mike. Nice post. Very helpful for this small group leader. Jim Egli 🙂

    Reply

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