“Span of Care” and Small Groups and Sunday School

Span of Care is an essential ingredient to having an organization that achieves its mission.

Regardless of what small group model was discussed, a significant amount of time was spent on the concept of span of care.  The principle is that the span of care is never greater than 1-10.

The Meta church model and the cell church model advocate a coach for every five cells, a division leader or Zone Supervisors for every five coaches, Zone Pastors for every five Zone Supervisors, etc.

A case for the importance of span of care for program-based churches can be made as well. Ken Hemphill in Revitalizing the Sunday Morning Dinosaur gave several reasons Sunday Schools fail.  One was churches have dismantled the component parts that are vital to a growing Sunday School and another was the loss of the departmental structure.   The department director was the program-based church’s coach.  Division Directors served as Zone Supervisors or division leaders. Sunday School directors served as Zone Pastors.

In today’s Sunday School churches, ironically churches no longer practice what the Small group Movement clearly espouses.  In my opinion, small group churches are suggesting what Sunday School churches used to advocate but no longer practice.

At a leadership conference, I once heard that a leaders or manager can only manage 5-10 people, depending on their skill level.  Secular organizations hire manangers  or team leaders in order to insure they balance “span of care.”   The manager provides the infrastructure to put feet to the vision of the leader.  

Creating an organization structure is much more than creating a nifty organizational chart.  Span of Care must be considered, so the work is appropriately distributed.  In developing the structure, people are related to one another so the work and goals of the church or organization can be achieved.


About drmarkmiller

I serve as the Sunday School, Discipleship, Small Groups Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention
This entry was posted in Discipleship, Evangelism, Ministry, Organization, Teaching, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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