This video is intended to facilitate discussion among small group leaders about how to most effectively steward their shepherding role in a church. It is best used as a prompt for deeper conversation with a small group coach or pastor over small group ministries.

Here is a printable PDF handout fora  training agenda and discussion guide for this material.

Summit SG Training: Assessing Motivation to Change from The Summit Church on Vimeo.


As compassionate people, we want to make life better for anyone who shares a struggle with us. This should be a defining mark of every believer (John 13:35). Often, however, we jump straight from struggle to solution and miss two important parts of the change: the journey and the person.

In this video we discuss five levels of motivation or stages of change (two ways of saying the same thing).

  1. Pre-Contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance

If you want to study these stages more in-depth you can read the corresponding article below. For the purposes of this discussion, it is sufficient for you to have general understanding of the concepts.

The application for this question is twofold. First, if a small group member shares a struggle but does not ask for help, ask if they would like help. Second, once a helping conversation begins your goal is to: (a) identify your friend’s level of motivation to change, and then (b) engage your friend with the strategy best fitting to their motivation.

Note: As your friends motivation rises and falls (which happens to all of us) your strategy will need to adapt to their current level of motivation. This prevents the pattern where your friend gets frustrated with the group because your strategy is ahead of their motivation and the group gets frustrated with the friend because their motivation is behind the group’s strategy for helping.

Discussion Questions

  1. How does the approach described in the video navigate the tension between the instruction of Galatians 6:1-2 with the instruction of Galatians 6:5?
  2. Can you give an example from your own life where a needed area of change went through these five levels of motivation or stages of change?
  3. Can you give an example of where you were trying to disciple someone are your strategy for helping was ahead of their motivation to change? Roll play how this interaction went poorly. Then roll play what you would have said or done with a more motivation-appropriate strategy.

Follow Up Resources