We’re moving closer and closer to the release of Small Group Vital Signs. Today is our ninth installment of a series sharing what some of my friends and ministry partners are saying about the book. Today, my friend Boyd Pelley:

“Deming taught business that if you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing. For forty years the church has been challenged to figure out the process of making disciples and I love that everywhere you look, churches get it and real disciples are being made. Mike Mack gets it and he is doing it every day at his church. He has also been around a long time and watched the small group movement grow and flourish. Small Group Vital Signs walks you through the process and gives you a way to measure so you can improve your ministry as a group leader or ministry director. Read it and make sure you know what you’re doing.”

Boyd Pelley is Co-founder and President of ChurchTeams. Boyd and I have been involved in ministry together in a variety of ways for many years. The church where I minister is a member of ChurchTeams, and we love it! It’s a great system to help ourt leaders communicate with their groups and with our ministry team, provide reports for themselves and for us, helps people get connected through our website, and lots lots more. See a four-minute video of Boyd’s overview of ChurchTeams and their small group distinctives, below.

One of the many things we’ve learned since starting to use ChurchTeams is how much it helps us to continuously gauge the health of our groups and also coach our leaders in being healthy. When a group meets, someone in the group–not necessarily the leader (which leads to more teamwork)–fills out a very brief report that includes attendance, what happened at the meeting, prayer requests (if the group wants to share these), and what the group is doing at the next meeting. These reports are automatically sent to the group, which is great as reminders for people who were there and updates for anyone who missed. At our church, these reports also go up-line to the group’s coach, team leader, and the small groups minister. We’ve taught our coaches and team leaders to watch these reports as they come in–watching for any red flags, opportunities for coaching, or possibilities for some encouragement. 

ChurchTeams also sends out regular reports on all the groups at the church–one of my favorite features–which allows me and others in our church to evaluate the overall health of our groups at a glance.  These reports are also easily customizable so I can get just the information I (or my boss, senior minister, or elders) am looking for. ChurchTeams has found that one of them main contributors to health in a group is consistent attendance. I discuss this factor in Vital Signs #5 and 7 in my book. Commitment to the group and authentic community are vital to health. The old maxim is true: 99% of success is just showing up! 

Our church has tried other church databases, but we love ChurchTeams because it was originally built as a small-groups-based tool, so it’s easy to use and provides the communication and information we need. And by the way, ChurchTeams now also provides many other tools for churches beyond small groups.

Boyd Pelley is a really smart, innovative guy who also really knows small groups ministry. So I’m extremely  thankful and very honored that Boyd has endorsed Small Group Vital Signs

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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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