Winning the small groups game requires that every leader receive consistent coaching. Leaders excel and feel valued when someone invests in their lives and ministries.
But a point leader who fails to build a proper coaching system—defined by healthy span of care within a pyramid structure—will burn out. What’s more, without a proper coaching structure, group leaders and coaches will feel overwhelmed, small group community will break down, and task groups will remain undiscipled.
Regardless of the small group model you adopt, you will need a coaching structure once you have more than ten or twelve groups.
We learned from the experience of Moses and Jethro in Exodus 18 (when adjudicating conflicts became overwhelming) and from the early church of Acts 6 (when widows were being neglected) that leaders who try to care for too many people face exhaustion and ministry breakdown. Moses and the early church needed to appoint leaders of leaders so they could maintain proper spans of care.
Despite these biblical examples, too many point leaders try to do it all. And the results aren’t pretty.
Donahue, B., & Robinson, R., Willow Creek Association. (2009). The seven deadly sins of small group ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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