Most of us have good intentions. We mean to keep our New Year’s Resolutions but our resolve is not as strong as our hopes. When it comes to starting NEW GROUPS; your resolve must be strong. New Groups are rarely started by accident. They don’t typically happen on their own. New Groups in most cases happen because of a catalyst. That is usually one or more people who have decided that a new group is not a possibility but a definite. The key is figuring out the right timing.
Growing things are healthy and healthy things grow. That’s not my opinion. It just happens to be true. Face it, if you haven’t started a new group (especially an adult group) in a long time; it will not be easy. Oddly enough, the more new groups you start the easier it gets. The first barrier to starting a new group is your resolve. Adopt this phrase: “it’s not if we will start a new group, it’s when we will start a new group”.
In the book, Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups, David Francis and Rick Howerton use the statement “a declaration phase”. When your plan to start a new group gets to the point that you have set a date, chosen a leader, selected a curriculum and put a sign on the door of a room; you are there. As a matter of fact, if any one of those items mentioned above are true, you are well on your way. This philosophy of name and claim it I can embrace.
Flake’s Formula reminds us that after we have “imagined the possibilities” it is time to “enlarge the organization”. In order to enlarge the organization, you need to start new groups and enlist and train new leaders. New Groups and New Leaders are the two most powerful forces in creating the dynamic of change in a stagnant culture.
Don’t settle for less. Name it and claim it for the kingdom of God. Determine today that you WILL start a new group and declare it to your church. That might seem like a lot of pressure but then again accountability sure goes a long way in helping you keep your resolutions.
Sean P. Keith is the Sunday School/Discipleship Strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention.