Packin' C4: Courage to Confront Comfortable Christians

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Andrew Mason provides four sources of "dynamite" power that will help you dislodge the comfortable believers in your group.

Small Group Leaders who want to reproduce disciples who reproduce disciples will face opposition. Giving birth to new small groups can be messy. Most Christians don’t want the disorientation of trading a familiar group for a new group with a new leader and new location. Therefore, small group members will resist and possibly position themselves (unknowingly) as obstacles. However, the mission from the Master remains the same: Make disciples that make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20).

Are you ready to tackle this challenge head on? *Are you packin’ some C4? Do you have courage to confront comfortable Christians? Remember, legendary football coach (and outspoken Christian) Tom Landry said, “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.”

*Here are 4 Sources of C4 Dynamite Power:

1. Declare the Vision Despite Potential Disagreement - It might feel a little awkward. There might not be any emotional goose bumps the first time you say it. Everyone may stand up and walk right out of your house as soon as you say it… Ok, that last one is a little over the top, but the point is this: The first time you share the vision to multiply the group into more groups, it may not feel like the ideal time to share the vision. Let me ask you a question,”When is the best time to start pushing a giant boulder?” Answer: Yesterday.

The longer you procrastinate on declaring a transformative vision for the small group to become more significant and influential than it is today, the longer it will take your group to digest the vision, let it take root and accept it as their own. Here’s a sample of what I say to my group, “Pray for this group to grow and become more than it is right now. As our church and small group grows, we will need to create more opportunities for new people to connect in small group community. Our vision is to see us raise up new leaders and multiply into more groups so that more people can receive ministry to become stronger disciples.” Pick up the power of declaration next time you meet!

2. Develop the Vision with A Core

I always make sure to have a core group of 1-3 Assistant Leaders that have bought into the vision and goals to multiply the group. When I share the vision, I can include the Assistant Leaders as key contributors to helping make the vision a reality. Now I’m leading from a place of strength and momentum instead of isolation. The other group members see the Assistant Leaders and say, “So-and-so seems bought into this, maybe I should be too?”

3. Discuss the Vision Individually

Do you sense displeasure from a certain group member? Are there rumblings of complaining in the rumor mill? Setup a one-on-one time with that person or persons to talk about it. Ask them what their concerns are. Explain the reasoning and values behind the vision. Let them know they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do. If they’re still dissatisfied refer them to your Pastor or Small Group Coach.

4. Deliver the Vision on a Subscription Basis

People that decide to attend my small group don’t realize that they’ve also decided to opt-in to my “vision subscription.” I share our vision to multiply at every small group meeting. I don’t make it a 5 minute presentation, but I make sure it gets some air time at every meeting, prayer time, email, etc. The more consistently you talk about your vision for the future, the more familiar and “comfortable” people will become with it. Vision needs to be declared, but then it needs to be continually delivered on a subscription basis.

In conclusion, I want to challenge you to see your leadership role as a member of a minority. As leaders, we need to think differently than the majority in order to lead them. Getting buy-in and challenging the status quo are some of the toughest dynamics of leadership, but they can also be the most satisfying once they are achieved.

What’s been your experience with multiplying small groups? How have you handled peoples’ resistance to change?

*For Clarification: We are encouraging the function of blowing up limiting mindsets…not people.  

Andrew Mason Andrew Mason is the Small Groups Pastor of Real Life Church, a family of churches across the Northern CA region. He oversees Small Groups, Discipleship Ministries and Assimilation. He is Founder of SmallGroupChurches.com, an online community of leaders dedicated to growing churches one small group at a time. Andrew resides in Sacramento, CA with his wife Camille and their son.

More from Andrew Mason or visit Andrew at http://www.smallgroupchurches.com

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  • Mike Mack

    Mason, you are spot on here. I believe that what you share here is critical and, if we really do what you’re suggesting here, could change the game for many many people, small groups, churches, communities, and the world. This comfortable, consumeristic form of Christianity is so foreign to Jesus’ message and the courageous vision and mission of the New Testament Church. Keep up the great work!

  • Derek Olson

    Great article!! Those 4 points are right on!! This was very challenging for me, yet very inspiring – thank you!

  • Jebron T.

    Great article… I love the “vision subscription” concept. Casting vision for growth is a crucial component of small group ministry.