A healthy small group needs 5 ships to carry out its mission:

  1. Fellowship: This one’s the flagship. A group needs authentic Christ-centered community to be healthy. But how do you get there? The other 4 ships flank and reinforce the flagship..
  2. Ownership: Share ownership of the group by making sure every member of the crew has a role in the group. I discussed this one in the January 28 post.
  3. Leadership: Share leadership with a Core Team of about 2-3 others. Don’t lead alone! I discussed this one on January 27.
  4. Partnership: Partnership sails together with Leadership. The Core Team partners with God and one another to lead the group. Partnership means you make decisions together, as a team. You partner together to shepherd the group. You each take on responsibility for discipling other members. You work together to develop other leaders. I discuss how to do this in much more detail in The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership.
  5. Discipleship: This is the battleship of the fleet. Discipleship is the reason you need the other 4 ships. The Core Leadership Team partners with one another to disciple the rest of the group, and the whole group should eventually take ownership of the the group’s mission to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Ships are of no use sitting in the harbor. A “ship shape” (healthy) small group ships out to carry out the Commander’s mission!

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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One Comment

  1. Feeling Simply Quilty

    February 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I like that everything put into ships. Well put. That's exactly what it is.

    Reply

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