The Seven Deadly Sins Of Small Group Ministry By Bill Donahue And Russ Robinson

Read Complete Research Material

The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry by Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson

The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry by Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson


Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson's The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry discusses how small group ministries began at Willow Creek. The authors discuss the mistakes they have learned from and the insight they have gained.


The very first mistake is unclear ministry objectives. This generally speaks of situations where conflicts and disagreements arise at leadership levels. Small groups misinterpret and do not understand their role as a part of the church's strategy. They mistakenly attract unnecessary attention because they are not clear of their objectives and role.

Lack of specific overall leadership is the second mistake most small group ministries make. The authors suggest that small groups should have designated and committed leaders who are clearly aware of their duties and responsibilities. Conflicts and problems often arise when a single individual, who is already over burdened with other tasks, is given charge of a small group. Such people are unable to fulfil the group's needs and thus problems arise.

Third in the book is poor coaching structures. Donahue and Robinson describe individuals who are not fit for the task of leading. Even though people investing time in religion are always welcome, if the people do not have specific training and skills that equip them to lead and overlook small groups, conflicts can arise. Pointing out mistakes and drawbacks can be hard for people in these groups. Most are passionate about religion and can easily take offense if they are termed as bad leaders or group members. Unfortunately, some believe it to be an attack on their faith.

Another common mistake is that leaders often neglect leadership development. The fourth mistake highlights the importance of developing leaders for tomorrow. In biblical terms, there are not enough 'shepherds' to tend to the 'sheep'. Furthermore, if senior leaders actively take part in the training and mentoring of potential leaders, they can instil values crucial to the role and develop skills that can guide the group, and the church, in times of need.

Mistake number five is a closed group mindset. Without vision, the growth of small groups is greatly inhibited. Specific training is required to inform group members how to properly and efficiently engage and interact with seekers. This training also helps them prepare for dealing with troubled or 'lost' individuals.

The sixth mistake narrow definition of a small group. Churches have numerous small groups and often the church is not even aware of the exact number. A lot of reasons exist for this. The major reason is that there is no precise definition of a small group. If the church only focuses on providing, the program will eventually stagnate. A much healthier approach is providing numerous opportunities for people to enter small group life and consequently employ several styles of leadership possibilities.

The final and seventh mistake is neglecting the assimilation ...