4 - Choose a Ministry Model

The key is to adapt a model to fit your church's culture, not import another model.

In Part Three, Bill talked about the way that small groups (or Sunday School) fit into the culture of the church. In this session, he breaks down another aspect of small group life. Every church has a tendency in the way that it gathers people together, and Bill explains how small groups will work best when they are formed according to a church's ministry identity.

There are hundreds of ways to structure a ministry model, but all of these tend to fall into one of three big areas.
  1. Mission — serve first mentality: "Are you doing ministry with us?"
  2. Affinity — common ground mentality: "What do we have in common?"
  3. Geography — proximity mentality: "Where do you live?"

In which of the three "buckets" does your church's model fall? Explain the specific way in which your church fits this the model.
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Which of these do you think would be an ideal fit for small groups or Sunday School in your church? Why could it be a better fit than the way you are currently doing ministry, or (if your church is already using this model) why this has been a good choice for your church? What are some ways to improve?
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Every church will tend to gravitate toward one of these models for arranging its members into groups. Like the roles for small groups, there is not a right or wrong answer here, but the goal should be to find a way to make your church's model, ministries and small groups all work in sync.

My Life-Changing Small Group Exercise 4
How will your plan fit your Church's Ministry Model? Circle the point (or two) of the triangle that you have already determined best describes your church's model. Then write how this plan of yours will fit, or need to be adapted, into that tendency of ministry by your church.