Several years ago I was a part of a gathering of small group ministers from all over North America, and during one session I wondered what would happen if a terrorist attacked the hotel where we were staying. (Yeah, I’m a little ADD, but I’d rather think of myself as creative.) How would new leaders in these ministers’ churches be found and recruited and trained? How would existing leaders be supported? Who would put together the organizational charts and plan the budget? Would community die if small group pastors went to that great Community in the Sky? (There are song lyrics in there somewhere.)
Then I thought, If these small group ministers are doing their ministries right, the small groups in their churches will flourish without them. (Not much job security for small group gurus!) And if the church buildings where training events are held were obliterated, all leadership development and deployment would have to happen completely in small groups. It would happen by mentoring new leaders and multiplying the ministry of the church over and over again.
When I look at the model Jesus handed down to the early church, that is exactly how they did it! The church grew without full-time paid staff, church buildings, programs, or a lot of money. They did it Jesus’ way: discipling, mentoring, and sending.
The gates of Hell shall never prevail against that church which Jesus has built! With or without paid, full-time professionals. Sorry guys.