How to interpret data to shepherd well and measure trust in a group.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/23/22 3:00 PM

Trust is foundational to every relationship.  

In an article on building trust for Focus on the Family, Dr. John Townsend tells us that successful marriages are built on trust.

In his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni makes it clear that a lack of trust on a team is foundational to every other team problem.

Proverbs 3:5,6 makes it clear that our ongoing relationship with God has to be founded on trust.

Read More

Tags: Small Groups

How to collect small group data and then use it to pray.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/16/22 3:00 PM

Last week we looked at lessons we've learned for helping connect people to groups.  Once people are in groups, though, how do you pray for and shepherd them.  We learned that an effective data capturing system can be used for attendance and much more.  

Before we start, it's helpful to realize that there are different perspectives on taking attendance.  Here are a few.

Read More

Tags: Small Groups

Ten lessons from the school of hard knocks that improved Groupfinder.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/9/22 2:15 PM

Churchteams started out in 1999 as a tool for making disciples and building teams. A year or so later we were referring to it as a small group software.  Within a couple of years it started gaining traction with churches all over the country. 

I was a small group pastor at the time and had been for almost a decade.  I wasn't new to the challenges of starting and building a small groups ministry, I was exhausted trying to do it.  When I understood cloud computing for the first time, I had a hunch this was the answer.  And, I had a friend who was willing to pioneer this idea with me using his skills as a software architect.  Mark and I have been doing that for 23 years now.  

Read More

Tags: Small Groups

Scheduled reports and incarnation. The way to build or rebuild trust.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 5/11/21 10:45 AM

A few weeks ago, in a blog post entitled Groups consistency, I talked about using attendance as a sign that points to faithfulness.  And faithfulness is a pre-requisite character quality for choosing leaders who multiply the ministry.  (2 Timothy 2:2)

In the same way, attendance is a sign for pastors and church staff that something may be going on in a person's life they are called to shepherd.

Read More

Tags: Small Groups, Reports

Group consistency, a report upgrade, & automation.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 4/13/21 3:00 PM

In discipleship discussions, we often quote 2 Timothy 2:2 as a pillar text for understanding discipleship that multiplies disciples.  The idea, of course, is that Paul invested in training Timothy and was encouraging him to invest in other people who would invest in others.  

Notice the adjective that Paul uses to describe the people in whom Timothy was to invest his time.  Depending on your translation, the word is generally reliable (NIV, NLT), or faithful (ESV, NASB, KJV).  It is someone in whom you trust.

Read More

Tags: New Release, Small Groups, Reports

Setting Security For Different Types Of Groups

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 6/23/20 11:00 AM

Churchteams was built around the idea of growing a church using groups as the common building material for every ministry. This means that everything that involves more than one person is managed as a group. 

Every worship service, small group, class, committee, ministry team, leadership team, service team, mission team, event, and even assimilation step is managed as a group. 

This is one of the design constructs that makes our software unique, powerful and user-friendly.  Once understood, ministry rocks of all sizes are formed together to become a solidly built organization.

Read More

Tags: Small Groups, Best Practices

Upgrade: Groupfinder Embed

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 3/3/20 10:15 AM
Communication coordinators are sometimes concerned about using hyperlinks that move people away from the website to other applications. 
 
Link Builder (under Communication tab) creates links or code to display a set of groups; like a small group groupfinder, list of mission opportunities, or upcoming youth events.  You pick the set of groups / events using the group profile questions and it builds both a link and iframe embed code for that set of groups.   See arrow below.
 
Read More

Tags: New Release, Small Groups

Aim Small:  The Growthfinder Assessment

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 1/14/20 9:49 AM

Last  fall I started a blog series on Small Groups called Aim Small.  My hope with this series is to bring together our best learnings about managing small groups that make disciples. 

In the last post, I showed you how attendance helps you recognize the trust level in your groups.  Like heat  is vital to baking bread, so trust is essential to authentic relationships.  

Read More

Tags: Small Groups

Trust In Groups:  Why It Matters & How To Measure It

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 11/19/19 9:30 AM

A friend of ours Damon Stoddard, a master black belt six sigma expert in Seattle, was volunteering to lead the groups ministry in his church about a decade ago when he called to ask me if I thought that TRUST would be a good way to measure the health of a small group.

 I was familiar with Patrick Lencioni's book on the Five Dysfunctions of A Team that identified Trust as the foundation upon which a team is built.  But,  had never heard anyone suggest applying trust to evaluating the health of small groups.  I thought it was a brilliant idea and told him that I thought it would be a great measure for group health.

He then pointed out to me that one of the leading indicators of trust in relationships is consistency and asked if we could measure the consistency of a group.  A few years earlier, we started calculating the average attendance per group whether they met once or five times that month1.  So, all we needed was another column to divide that number by the enrollment in the group.

Think about this for a moment.  If you are going to live out the "One Anothers" in your small group.  If you are going to do "life together" with someone else. You are going to have to TRUST yourself to them.  That's how discipleship works.  Spiritual transformation is only going to happen if you trust those helping you achieve it.

Who are you going to trust? Friends that are consistently there for you. Faithful people who you are going to entrust your life message to (2 Timothy 2:2). Though just showing up isn't the full equation to measure trust, it is a very measurable indicator.  

Damon's next question helped us sharpen the measure, "at what consistency rate would you say a group is healthy and unhealthy?"  I had been leading small groups in churches for 18 years at that point and quickly responded. 2

80 to 100% Consistency = Healthy

Under 50% Consistency = Unhealthy

We sent him the data for his church.  He did the analytics and discovered that 5/12 groups were above 80%, 4 were between 50 and 80%, and 3 were below 50%.  So, he got his pastor and went to the 3 groups and discovered that all 3 of them had issues they needed help with.

Within a few months we created our Monthly Small Group Health report that we email to our clients who want it for their church.  It's an Excel spreadsheet that adds a new sheet each month with a summary of group health within a ministry area.

Groups are organized by consistency rate, not alphabetically.  Blue zone groups average 80% and above.  These people love their group.  They even plan their vacation around group times. These are your leadership development groups.  

Yellow zone groups are your average groups.  Nothing outstanding generally, but also nothing to necessarily worry about.  The Red zone groups are your focus groups for the next month.  If the small group pastor / director and coaches don't do anything else this month, they need to know what's up with these groups.

Of course the output of the data is only as good as the input.  But through trial and error with hundreds of churches we've developed a system to get 100% response from group leaders each week.  It combines technology people are already committed to with a system of accountability appropriate to each leadership level.  Join me for a Small Group Webinar to learn more.     

 


1  Small groups that meet in homes don't necessarily meet every week like traditional adult Sunday School classes do.  This skews monthly attendance.  To solve this we developed a metric that uses the sum of the average attendance (blue) instead of the average of the weekly summed attendance (red).  This is a far better way to compare tradition Adult Sunday School numbers to small group numbers.  

2 For larger groups that typically meet in classroom like Adult Sunday School we generally lower the percentage rate for health by 20 points.  i.e. for "Small" Groups of 20 or more:

60 to 100% Consistency = Healthy

Under 30% Consistency = Unhealthy

So a typical Adult Sunday School of 30 is still considered in the Blue Zone with an average of 18 and in the Red Zone when it averages 9 or les.

 

Read More

Tags: Small Groups

Aim Small:  Metrics for 3 Levels of Leadership

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 10/1/19 9:27 AM

When I was on church staff, at the end of every month I would put together a small group summary for our leadership team to review.  I would run the "Attendance by Group" report in Churchteams and paste the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet.  Then I would copy and edit the formulas to complete the report.  It took most of a day.

After a couple of years doing this every month and many conversations with other small group pastors, we automated this report so that it is delivered to your inbox every month.  In developing it, we realized that every church needs feedback from their database for 3 different levels of leadership.  All of these are included in this Monthly Small Group Report.

Read More

Tags: Small Groups

Subscribe to Email Updates

Subscribe Here!

300x600 MYC Banner-1
Kingdom-Impact-Conference_church-teams
Read Churchteams reviews on G2