Being intentional just means making sure the group is more than a series of random interactions between its members. No one is happy in a random group because no one grows or feels challenged.
Intentionality is a key ingredient of great leadership. That means leading your group toward a destination, and making sure your conversations have a purpose.
In my previous post, I wrote about how to be intentional as you begin a new group. But the middle months of your group—the longest part of the life-cycle for most groups—are when it's easiest to slip into auto-pilot. It's natural to drift into a place where the group has little purpose beyond your weekly meetings and whatever you're currently studying.
Here are three things you can do to keep your group on track:
1. Keep Vision Central Vision leaks if you don't take action to keep it out in front of your group.
- Remind your group why we do what we do.
- Model vision by being committed and authentic, and by prioritizing relationships.
2. Avoid Routine While a group should have a measure of predictability, it shouldn't be boring.
- Share responsibilities with group members and leadership with an apprentice.
- Plan interruptions to the normal rhythm of your group meetings by organizing socials, retreats, and service projects.
3. Plan to End Strategically All groups will end, but no group will end strategically without a plan.
- As you assess who may make a great future leader, pay attention to your members' character, competence, and chemistry.
- Be intentional in the way you invite group members into leadership. Gauge their willingness. Encourage them.
If you do those three things, your group will be energized with a sense of purpose. Individual meetings and studies will take on great meaning and depth because your group members will know that the group is working to create community for others in the future.
Next week, I’ll look at some how to approach leadership during the final months of a group.