Episode 10: How do you build healthy small groups? (Steve Gladen)

steve gladenHow do you build healthy small groups?

Steve Gladen, Global Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church, shares his passion and journey of creating healthy small groups since 1998. Listen to how Steve helps roughly 8,000 groups at Saddleback to become healthy and growing.  He describes the principles from his book to create small groups with purpose. Learn how you can build healthy and growing small groups in your ministry and church.




3 Take Aways

  1. Have the end in mind. When you drive somewhere, you know where you are going or at least you should. There is a destination…an end. You need to know your destination with small groups. What’s the outcome and the win? If you don’t know that then you’ll just be driving aimlessly and without purpose. Discuss and dream what the end goal of your small group ministry is so that you can start to build and drive there.

  2. Groups need to be balanced and healthy (5 purposes). It’s not enough for small groups to just meet and go through the curriculum or Bible study. There are ways to measure health and the purposes. Does you group incorporate the five purpose of worship, discipleship, fellowship, ministry and mission? A healthy small group will exhibit these purposes. It won’t happen every week but there are elements of these in the cycle of the group.

  3. Top Down Needed. You can’t have a successful small group ministry without the support and direction of the senior pastor. The senior pastor needs to be a big voice and supporter of small groups on the pulpit and actually be in a small group themselves. Pastors need to be in small groups and model that for everyone else too. We can’t sell something where we aren’t buying it ourselves. It needs to start from the top down in order to create a successful and thriving small group ministry in your church.

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