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Mastermind Groups

A Mastermind group is a small group of people (usually 3–6 people) who meet and talk with some frequency in order to help each other improve and achieve goals.

Mastermind groups can be amazingly powerful. If there is a scenario that would allow me to work with the CNH District in some capacity, I would like to form one or more Mastermind groups. I initially wrote these notes with the intent of augmenting my Coaching practice and therefore (for business development reasons) sought ways to monetize these groups. However, these ideas can be used to start and maintain an all volunteer Mastermind group as well. If you are interested, I would love to help you start a Mastermind group pilot program.

Some aspects of forming a Mastermind group:


Set up some ground rules:

  • How often, where and when will you meet?
  • How many absences are acceptable?
  • How will meetings be structured?
  • Will you accept new members (most groups have less than 10 members, and many limit the number to around six)

General agenda:

  1. Welcome
  2. Individual sharing
  3. Goals update
  4. Group problem solving
  5. Discussion of the specific topic for the meeting
  6. Overview of the next meeting


  • Meet regularly
  • Accountability
  • Focused: Must work out what focused means for Professional Church Workers (PCWs). It would likely be “topic” focused (Congregational leadership effectiveness; outreach; working through organizational dysfunction; personal issues; “best practices” on a particular topic.). Could be “person” focused: allowing individuals to discuss whatever issue/problem most plagues them. Could be “outcome” focused; what “outcomes” each person or ministry is seeking to accomplish. Many ways to “focus.”
  • Each person has equal “facetime” with others (gets/offers roughly the same level of support, help, ideas, input, etc.). Will ideally want people roughly equal in need/ability.
  • Facilitator keeps things moving, on topic, equitable, helpful, timed. (cf. SMART goals as a model for facilitating)
  • Rose, Bud, Thorn (Rose: something going well. Bud: starting something new.  Thorn: issues/problems.)
  • Non-theological, non-judgemental, non-political. . . focus is to help one another become better at the individual’s stated objectives. [Examples: “I want to become good at doing less.” “I want to learn to manage my classroom effectively.” “I want to develop a new outreach program.” NOT about convincing others of your theologica/ philosophical/ political perspective. 
  • Timed: Group may meet for 2 to 6 months; re-convene/re-start after a limited time. 

Reasons to connect with a MasterMind group (examples):

  • We meet twice per month and are committed to honing strategic planning skills, help one another break through roadblocks that impede our ministry effectiveness. Our sessions focus on encouraging one another, creative brainstorming, accountability, and the on-boarding of volunteers in our respective ministries and to equip these volunteers to achieve maximum success. 
  • We meet once per month to share leadership strengths, seek peer advice, and generally help one another more fully live out our Call and reach our highest potential. 
  • Our MasterMind group meets each week in order to collaborate with one another on the topic of formulating effective connections with our respective communities. Our initial plan is to meet for 3 months. Once each month the group facilitator invites an “expert,” someone who has demonstrated success with making community connections or someone that can speak to one of the important building blocks of effective community outreach (eg. writing effective press releases; using social media; hosting community events; etc.). 
  • This MasterMind group meets online every 2 weeks where we discuss effective preaching. In addition to our regular meetings, each participant uploads one video sermon each month so that our peers (and an occasional recognized expert) can provide helpful observations on preaching style, notes on effective communication techniques, and ways to generally improve one’s preaching effectiveness. 
  • This MasterMind group meets monthly online and features an interview with a recognized expert in the formulation and management of Small Groups [or. . . worship, effective classroom management, managing multiple staff, transitional school/church, etc.] The invited expert speaks to the topic for 30 minutes and the facilitator ensures that everyone in the group is given an opportunity to ask their specific questions (spoken questions, live texting, or follow-up email).