Developing Leaders for Small Groups


I shared in our most recent quarterly edition of The Unstuck Church Report: Benchmarks & Trends in Church Health that our data is showing one of the key differences between healthy growing and declining churches is that healthier churches have home-based groups as one of the primary ministries of the church.

There’s something about building community in somebody’s home that’s just a little bit easier than a classroom—with one big caveat. You have to have a lot of leaders for it to scale. And developing more leaders seems to always be something pastors tell me they are struggling to manage their time well enough to do.

So, how do you develop more small group leaders? Turns out, an emphasis on multiplication is one of the things churches tend to leave out of their small groups strategy. It’s also one of the things that helps you develop more small group leaders.

In this episode, I invited Chris Surratt to speak into this topic. You may know Chris from his work at several large multisite churches, including SeaCoast Church in South Carolina, CrossPoint in Nashville. Or you may know him from his work as the Discipleship and Small Groups Specialist at LifeWay. Or as the author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us. Or because he’s on my team at The Unstuck Group as a ministry consultant.

And if you don’t know Chris, just listen to the episode. He’s a wealth of experience and practical wisdom when it comes to small groups.

Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation:

  • Why you should focus your group leaders to be thinking beyond just the people already in their living rooms
  • Practical tips for effective, multiplying groups
  • How the language churches tend to use when talking about group multiplication sabotages the goal
  • The best strategies for continually launching new groups AND for developing more leaders