Sunday, October 12, 2008

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Tactics: Starting Somewhere

One of my favorite tactics for start-ups is to begin with an "anchor ministry" -- something that's relatively easy to maintain and helps identify teammates. I like a devotional format for this for several reasons:
  • It's easy. All I need to lead a devotional is a verse that means something to me. Once I'm done explaining what it means to me, I'll ask a simple open-ended opinion question like, "what do you guys think?" or "has this ever happened to you?" After that I just keep the discussion moving.
  • It's flexible. I've had small-group devotionals in coffee shops, food courts, bowling alleys, conference rooms ... whatever's accessible (and preferably has food/coffee available).
  • It's fast. You can schedule it before work, during lunch, etc. People can come late, leave early, or drop in. I make it a point to spend no more than 30-40 minutes per devotional. If you consistently go long, many people won't come because they "don't have time".
  • It's transferrable. Whenever possible, I pass the leadership torch around from week to week. Besides distributing the labor and introducing some really interesting material, it gets people involved and committed to the group.

Devotionals are especially good for workplace fellowships, which is another topic for later ...

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