Questions to Help You Launch an Effective Small Group Ministry

Launching any new ministry area can be overwhelming. But, if you’re not careful, you can create a mess before you know it. In our hurry to launch things as leaders, we can sometimes rush through the early phase of giving through to vision and structure that will enable to ministry area to flourish.

In fact, there are plenty of leaders who get the ball rolling on a ministry area without giving intention at the beginning and then, yikes. There ends up being a mess that they, or someone else, has to try to reign in down the road.

You might be looking to launch a discipleship ministry in your church. Or possibly, you find that you need to revision an area of ministry that’s going off the rails. Either way, use this guide of questions to prompt your thinking.

Ultimately, your goal is to make sure every area of ministry is cohesive and effectively carries out the mission.

Note: I’ve used the word “community group” here. You can substitute it for whatever you call your discipleship/groups ministry.


What is the point of a community group?

How will you know when it’s successful?

And how will a community group leader know when they are successful?

What happens in a group?

What is the role of the leader? Are they a teacher, guide, host or facilitator?

How will you build in a missional component? (Will projects in the community be required? If so, how will that be administered?)


How do community groups fit in the overall discipleship plan of the church?

Different types of engagement and formation happen in different spaces (public, small, and private, intimate). What is the type of engagement you hope for in a community group?

What is the size range for community group?

When it gets too big, will you cap it or split it?

If a group is too small, will you still launch it, or will you merge it?


How will you initially train leaders?

How will you provide ongoing training for leaders?

How will you recruit new leaders?

How will you register members? (Will leaders recruit their own members? Will there be a matching process? Will groups be affinity based?)

How will you handle childcare?

What is the duration of a community group? (Do they meet forever? Or for a term?)

How will you onramp people who are new to the church to a community group? (Will you form new groups or will they join existing groups? How often will ‘registration’ open?

How will you on-ramp non-church people to a community group?

How about you?

I’d love to know what you think! What is your current discipleship group ministry like? Or, are you launching something new?

If you’re working to make disciples in any area of your life (in your church, your neighborhood, with your kids… wherever it is), I want to give you an awesome resource that will help you out. Check out The Track to High Impact- a resource to help you jump start your disciple making and make a massive impact.

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