17 Small Group Leaders to Follow in 2017!


Why only 17? Lets make that 22 Small Group Leaders to follow in 2017! Get equipped & inspired by following these dynamic Small Group Leaders! While there are many more amazing leaders I could add to this list, my criteria was…

#1 Great Small Group Leaders that I know of &/or have followed (Sorry if I’ve never heard of you!).

#2 Small Group Leaders that could be followed by others on Social Media somewhere.

#3 Small Group Leaders who had either written a book on the subject &/or had an active blog where they write on the subject of small groups & leadership!

(In Alphabetical Order)

1 Allen White – Small Group Coach & Consultant at AllenWhite.org & Author of “Exponential Groups: Unleashing Your Church’s Potential.”

2 Amy Jackson – Managing Editor of SmallGroups.com, Leadership & Small Group Consultant & Founder of AmyKJackson.com

3 Andrew Mason – Small Groups Pastor at Real Life Church in Sacramento, CA. Founder of SmallGroupChurches.com & Blogger for the Small Group Network.

4 Ben Reed – Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Author of “Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint,” Communications Coach for the Small Group Network & Founder of BenReed.net

Dr. Bill Donahue – Speaker & Professor at TIU in Deerfield, IL. Small Groups & Leadership Consultant at DrBillDonahue.com & Author of “The Irresistible Community: An Invitation to Life Together.”

6 Bill Willits –  Executive Director of Ministry Environments for North Point Ministries in Atlanta, GA. Small Group Consultant & Co-author of “Creating Community” with Andy Stanley.

Carolyn Taketa – Executive Director of Small Groups at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, CA & Host of the Small Group Network’s “Group Talk Podcast.”

Chris Surrat – Ministry Consultant, Small Group Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN & Author of “Small Groups For The Rest Of Us.”

Daniel Thomas – Pastor of Adult Ministries at Highlands Fellowship in Abingdon, Virginia. Regional Leader of the Small Group Network & Founder of SecondChair.co

10 Eric Falcinella – Pastor of Network Development at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Director of the Small Group Network & Host of  the Leadership Obsession Podcast

11 Jim Egli – Leadership Pastor at the Vineyard Church in Urbana, IL. Small Group Consultant, Founder of JimEgli.com & Author of Small Groups Big Impact.

12 Joel Comiskey  – Cell church coach & Consultant. Founder of JoelComiskeyGroup.com & Author of “2000 Years of Small Groups: A History of Cell Ministry in the Church” among others.

13 Laura CopelandSmall Group Pastor & Coach at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA & Blogger at LauraMCopeland.com

14 Mark Howell –  Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Founder of SmallGroupResources.net & Blogger at MarkHowellLive.com

15 Matt Graybill – Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA & Small Group & leadership Coach.

16 Michael C Mack – Small Group Coach, Founder & Director of SmallGroupLeadership.com & Author of the “World’s Greatest Small Group: 7 Powerful Traits of a Life-Changing Leader” among others.

17 Jon Noto – Community Life Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church’s North Shore Campus, Blogger at SmallGroupNetwork.com & Founder of TheUnwavering.com

18 Randall Neighbour – President of Touch Outreach Ministries and Founder of RandallNeighbour.com

19 Roger Carr – Small Group Coach & Founder of SmallGroupInternational.com

20 Ron Wilbur – Former Pastor of Small Group Health at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. International Connection Director for the Small Group & Blogger for the Small Group Network

21 Scott Boren – Small Group Consultant, Founder of “The Relational Mission” & Author of “Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus” among others.

22 Steve Gladen – Global Pastor of Small Groups at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Author of “Small Groups with Purpose” among others & Founder of the Small Group Network & SmallGroups.net

9 Keys to Creating a Culture that Values Vision


According to a survey of leadership readers, communicating vision is one of the most frustrating parts of leading a local church. One response to the open-ended question, “What is the greatest single problem you face in training your lay leaders?” was, “Teaching Christians the vision of a Christ-like life.”

One fact is true: Leaders who effectively communicate goals to their followers achieve far beyond those who don’t! Here are 9 keys to create a culture that values of vision!

1. VALUABLE VISION Starts from Within

  • If you want to know the temperature of your church, put a thermometer in your mouth.
  • You can never take people farther than you have been yourself – Rick Warren

2. VALUABLE VISION Builds on the Past

  • It builds on the leader’s past and on the people’s past. The most effective vision draws upon enduring themes to make us feel more confident about stepping out in new directions.

3. VALUABLE VISION Speaks to the People’s Needs

  • When you deal with people’s basic needs, you are always needed.

4. VALUABLE VISION Challenges People to Act

  • “The first thing you do is teach the person to feel that the vision is very important and nearly impossible. This draws out the drive in winners.” – Edwin Land (Founder of Polaroid)

5. VALUABLE VISION Solves Problems

  • Problems are unsolved, not because they are so big, but because our visions is so small. Obstacles are the thing you see when you take your eye off the goal.

6. VALUABLE VISION Provides Guidance

  • Direction for an organization cannot be given in rules & regulations, policy manuals and organizational charts.

7. VALUABLE VISION Attracts Winners

  • Winners stretch to the vision, but winers shrink to the vision.
  • Do big things – attract big people. Do little things – attract little people and in turn attract big problems.

8. VALUABLE VISION Unites People

  • There are divisions and differences among people in any community. However, people will come together when the vision to unite is greater than the decision to go their own way. Vision is the vehicle on which change rides.


  • Only he who sees the invisible can do the impossible.
  • “Every great work and every great person, came under the influence of a vision that changed them and therefore changed others.” – Leadership magazine, Winter 1983

MarkyMark Zweifel holds a Master of Divinity, is the former Student Ministries Director of the Alaska Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God and is the Lead Pastor of Fairbanks First Assembly

For inspiration regarding all things leadership & ministry, follow Mark on twitter at markzweifel