Take-Off: The First Four Months of Your Group

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One of the most important things you can do as a group leader is to be intentional. That means leading your group toward a destination, and making sure that the things you do and your conversations have a purpose.

To be intentional, you need to think through what your group needs in each stage of its life-cycle. Over the next few posts, I'll break down some strategic approaches to leading your group as you begin, through the middle months of your group, and then as you prepare to multiply.

During the first four months of a new group, do these three things:

1. Cast Vision Casting vision means giving your group a picture of what group is about. It answers the question, "Why small group?"

  • The win is for a Community Group to be an environment where people pursue spiritual growth and relational connection.
  • We believe that life-change happens best in the context of structured and intentional relationships.

2. Level Expectations Expectations are the logical conclusion of vision. They are the "what" that follows "why."

  • Communicate what healthy group participation looks like. Group members' responsibilities are to show up, join in, and be real.
  • Use the Group Agreement to align everyone's expectations about how the group will function and why you're together.

3. Prioritize Relationships Groups that enjoy one another and feel connected have the greatest level of commitment, and experience some of the most significant growth.

  • Share your stories as a way of deepening relationships, developing common bonds, and modeling authenticity. The depth and richness of your stories will do a lot to set the tone for the rest of the group.
  • Serve together. Serving others is a practical way to obey Jesus' command to love others. It's also a great way to grow the relationships in your group . . . especially early on. There's just something about doing a project together that bonds groups.
  • Have fun together. Be intentional, but make space for unstructured social connection. It's a vital component of the group experience.

That's it. If you do those three things, your new group won't just be socializing and studying. It will have a purpose. It will be headed toward a destination. And that can make the difference between a good group experience and a great group experience . . . for you and everyone in the group.

Check in next week when I'll break down some strategic approaches to leading your group once you've completed the "new group" phase.