Three Signs That Your Ladies Group Meeting Isn’t Working
By Shanna Purenne
You want your ladies group members to be growing in their faith. You want them to develop better friendships with other ladies, to talk about the Bible, their lives, maybe even just eat food together and relax. So, maybe you promised all that and more as you were encouraging them to join the ladies small group fellowship. They joined. Only now they are seriously disillusioned and probably just not showing up. What happened? Here are three sure signs that show your small groups are not working:
1. Your hopes for a community of spiritual friends has devolved into just another obligation. (consider reading, ‘When Is a Small Group Just Another Meeting? And what should you do about it?’ by Sam O’Neal) Has the excitement of meeting together been replaced by a dread about gathering with your group? This is a sure sign that what you thought could be a chance to build meaningful relationships in an authentic spiritual community has become only another slot on your calendar. And you resent this time taking away from your schedule.
2. Your leaders talk more than they listen. (Hearing Aids for Small-Group Leaders (read ‘Why listening is such a valuable tool for those of us in charge’. by Cathy Mogus) It is easy to pick out a natural leader-they’re the one who’s talking. But as a small ladies group leader it is often more productive to have a strong listener. The facilitator model, rather than the instructor model invites people to share their own thoughts and grow through greater participation.
3. You don’t want to multiply your ladies group. (read The “Joys” of Multiplication) principles for multiplying your small group ministry. by Randy Frazee) Does your ladies group frown at visitors? Encouraging a group to grow is often an obstacle. No one likes change. However, ladies groups that are active together both studying and learning and also socializing have an easier time with the idea of multiplying from their core group.
This article “Three Signs That Your Ladies Group Meeting Isn’t Working” by Shanna Purenne is excerpted from Church Central Newsletter, Aug. 19, 2008.