Monday, October 13, 2008

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More Tips for Starting New Groups

Starting out is a very unpredictable period in the development of a fellowship group. A few pointers can help reduce the anxiety:
  1. First, remember it's God's business. You're the foot soldier, not the commander. Let Him worry about the results. I remember once feeling intensely guilty about not being able to make a particular Bible study I'd organized. Leaving it to one of my brothers, God turned out an amazing number of people that week, in part (I believe) to remind me who's running things.
  2. Find a reliable partner. Having at least one other reliable brother or sister committed to the vision is priceless. Last year I started a devotional group in the Pentagon, but it struggled early and I had to sideline it for a few months until God brought me Marc to come alongside and share the load. I took Marc's arrival as God's go-ahead to move forward, and then watched Him bring along Lisa, Bill, Laura, etc.
  3. Don't stress over the lean days. What if you're the only one to show up to your breakfast devotional? Drink a cup of coffee, eat a donut and enjoy a private time with God! If He brings only one person, then He's scheduled that time for you to get to know that person (see #1 above). Next week you may have half dozen show up and surprise you.
  4. Use just-in-time advertising. I try to send out a reminder to my e-mail list with the 5 Ws (who-what-where-why-when) before every meeting. I learn the best times for this (mid-afternoon before an evening affair or before a breakfast devotional the next day, mid-morning for a lunch meeting, etc.)
  5. Keep some hip-pocket material, either for yourself or to give to the other week-by-week leaders. You never know when you'll need something if Plan A falls through. Part of the purpose of this blog is to give you some resources.
  6. Don't get locked into your original plan. Sometimes you can forget why you started meeting on Wednesdays at noon, or you can miss the importance of the 3 guys from the same office who've been showing up (maybe it's time to start another group in or closer to that office). Watch for opportunities to follow where God's going next. If the pillar of cloud moves, be ready to pull up your tent. Go back and see my post "Here I Am, Lord ... Now What?" for a reminder of how to look for God's leading.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent tips! I think people find it intimidating to start up a small group, but they see huge benefits once they are going.

    ReplyDelete

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