great workshops on small groups today, led by Jim Egli who is a pastor at a Vineyard church in Illinois. remarkable statistical research and insights on what makes small groups and small group leaders successful. can't believe how inept i've been at caring for and developing the small group ministry in the church. so many wrong assumptions about what characteristics make a good leader or contribute to a healthy small group.
for example, education, age, time as a believer, personality, etc. have no correlation with success as a small group leader. but how much time you spend praying for the members of your small group has a high correlation. time spent in bible study / content preparation has no correlation with successful small groups. but time spent praying for the small group has a high correlation. what gives? apparently, God gives. interestingly, talking about small groups publicly does absolutely nothing, according to the research, to increase participation in small groups. having a good small group infrastructure and support for leaders does a lot.
find myself with much optimism about getting better in this area personally, being a better encourager, supporter of existing small groups, adding leaders, etc. looking forward to learning more, too, and trying some ideas on for size.