Are Small Groups Deceiving Themselves?

What are the purposes of vision and mission statements? Are they important? Should a small group have vision and mission statements?

I’ll answer those questions in a moment. But first I’d like to share a series of mission-related tweets I posted a couple days ago:

 

Maybe I was in a sarcastic mood, but I think this is important. Jesus and his early followers often spoke in big-vision, missional terms, but they didn’t leave those statements on the table. They actually lived out the vision and mission daily. So should we.

The problem isn’t that we’ve forgotten our mission as the church or as small groups. It’s that we simply choose lesser missions. We choose comfort. We choose to study the mission rather than doing the mission. We choose us over them.

The problem isn't that we've forgotten our mission. It's that we choose lesser missions. Click To Tweet

We spend more time and energy on reshuffling the already committed than we do on seeking the lost. We spend lots of energy on connecting Christians into groups that are ignorant about or ignoring the mission to which we have been called.

We have become experts at discussing God’s mission. We have learned how to observe God’s Word, interpret it, and apply it. We know how to facilitate discussion, ask good questions, lead prayer times, and care for one another. Those are good things.

But do we do what the Word of God says? If not, we’re deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). None of that matters if we are not going into the world around us and making disciples, being Jesus’ witnesses, being ministers of reconciliation, preaching the gospel.

How do we do this?

Begin with prayer, asking God to give you the opportunities; but don’t make prayer itself the goal or the new vision. While you wait on God’s answer to your prayers, go and serve and love. God will most likely answer your prayers as you are doing those things he has already called you to do. He’ll put people in front of you who you can tell about him, share the gospel, and administer reconciliation.

Develop vision and mission statements and put them into action plans. Take those why statements and be very specific and tactical about the what, when, where, who (and whom), and how.

Go. That action is often in opposition to gathering, but you can do both. You can huddle together to encourage, learn, pray, support, otherwise minister to one another, and plan. But then you quickly break the huddle to go out and carry out God’s mission.

Change the mindset of your group from gathering to going, from huddling to healing, from sitting to serving, from meeting to ministering.

I’d love to help you carry out this plan. A big part of my vision involves partnering with God and his church to revitalize Christ’s mission in and through radical community. How can I partner with you in that?

Question: What’s keeping you from carrying out the mission God has given your group or church? Please respond to this post by clicking the Comment button below.

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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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