Discipling one at a time sometimes may be best!

Posted: May 8, 2014 by efenster in Ideas
Tags: , , ,

AfterHours“If we simplify our church structure and reduce the number serving on our church council from around 20 people to around 10 people, won’t that put too much power into too few hands?”  This was a question I was asked by a church pastor this week.

At the root of this question, of course, is a question of trust.   Will our laity trust our leaders’ decisions more if there are ten more people at the table?  There’s also, however, the question of effectiveness that needs to be considered.  Does a team function better if it’s smaller or larger?

For most teams, smaller appears to function better!  A recent article not only makes this point, but it explains the science behind why it’s true.  It explains why a larger group results in poorer attendance and less participation.  The article is entitled, “The Science Behind Why Small Teams Work More Productively:  Jeff Bezo’s 2 Pizza Rule.”

This idea that “smaller is better” is in line with a recent discovery a Fort Wayne church plant has made.  Kristo’s Hands and Feet, a non-attractional church plant of St. Joseph United Methodist Church, has discovered that the lower-income folk the ministry is reaching respond better to a discipling relationship that is either one-to-one, one-to-two, or one-to-three persons at a time, rather than to the traditional small group that has about ten or so people meeting together at a specific place and time.   Discipling happens more effectively the way Jesus did it than the programmatic approach our churches tend to use–at least for those living in the neighborhoods Kristo’s is reaching.  Of course, in other settings this might not be the case or it could include both approaches.

What about for you and your church?

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

 

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