The Group that Serves Together Grows Together
Five ways to help task-oriented groups thrive.
by Brett Eastman, Founder and CEO, Lifetogether
Setting up task groups is a great way to develop a growing number
of faithful volunteers in almost any area of ministry. A task
group is distinct in
that it isn't just a traditional fellowship-building group or a team
of people simply fulfilling a task. By definition, task groups
accomplish both fellowship and ministry at the same time.
The principle mission of a task group is to set aside a 30-45-minute
group time to develop the spiritual and relational life of each team
People tend to join a group because of the task they want to work on,
but ultimately they will stay because of the mutual caring among the
members. Being intentional about developing the sense of community through
a designated group time strengthens and improves the overall health of
Most of the principles used to develop effective traditional small groups
can be transferred to working with task-oriented groups. However, several
features will especially enhance the development of task groups:
1. Encourage groups to meet before or after their serving time. No matter
how frequent the serving opportunity (whether once per week or once per
quarter), add a community dimension to each meeting.
2. Monitor task-group curriculum selection and usage. To begin with,
use simple, open-ended questions, such as those found in Nav-Press's
Evolve to using an uncomplicated small-group curriculum. For instance,
group members could respond to discussion questions after reading a short
passage from a Serendipity Bible or Life Application Bible.
3. Develop a sense of teammates versus soulmates. People who join task
groups generally have a primary commitment to the task and a secondary
commitment to the people. Creating a teammate atmosphere helps everyone
recognize that this group is different from the two-hour women's or couples'
Bible study. Task-group members should accept and enjoy the fact that
they have gathered in order to do something.
4. Make the task a means to a greater end. Ultimately, changed lives
is our goal. Over 50 percent of those serving in a task group will never
a traditional fellowship group. Yet a task group is an excellent place
to connect unconnected people. For this reason, encourage groups to form
around any appropriate impassioned cause for which a qualified leader
5. Provide ongoing leadership development. Leaders of task groups need
regular support, training, troubleshooting help, and encouragement
in order to lead over the long haul. Also, leaving an "open chair" (for
the potential invited newcomer) in task group meetings will serve as
the principle means of gathering the next generation of volunteers
The beauty of leading and managing volunteer teams through task groups
is that people not only accomplish the important task but also ultimately
grow in their walk with God, with each other, and with the church. These
are goals worthy of our labor.
permission. Copyright © 2004 Lifetogether. www.lifetogether.com