When launching small groups of last – here are a couple tips to avoid the typical pitfalls:
Resist the temptation to be expedient in starting small groups.
Here are a few examples of being expedient…..
Geography: men who live north of the church are in Group A; men who live south of the church are in Group B; men who live west of the he church are in Group C; etc.
Day/Time: men who are available on Friday morning are in Group X; men who are available on Monday night are in Group Y; men who are available on Saturday morning are in Group Z; etc.
Topic/Theme/Resource: men who want to study Romans are in Group 1; men who want to read Wild at Heart are in Group 2; men who want to study Every Man’s Battle are in Group 3; etc
These expedient ways of launching small groups of men are functional and can be effective at the beginning but almost always lack the relational glue and chemistry needed to hold them together.
Start small groups based on the friendships that have begun at some of your entry point events for men
Here’s an example of how I would encourage emerging small group leaders to do this:
The scenario is that Bob and Jack would both like to get a small group of men going. They have connected at the occasional men’s breakfast and enjoy each other. Bob and Jack accept an invitation to come to the emerging small group leaders training at church.
At this meeting they both think of Todd. Bob traveled with Todd to the Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and really enjoyed him. Jack was in the same breakout group with Todd when the men of the church went through the six week Leading and Loving video-workbook series and feels like they have a lot in common. On behalf of Bob, Jack approaches Todd about being in a small group.
Here’s what Jack does and does not do:
1. Jack shares that he and Bob are STARTING a small group and invites Todd to start it with them.
(Most men would prefer to be in on the ground floor)
2. Jack shares with Todd that he and Bob HAVE NOT decided on a place to meet.
3. Jack shares with Todd that he and Bob HAVE NOT decided on a day/time to meet.
4. Jack shares with Todd that he and Bob HAVE NOT decided on a topic or resource to read/study.
(Note that Jack takes away the top three reasons why men will typically say no to an invite)
5. Jack shares with Todd that he and Bob both thought of HIM and they hope that HE can join them.
(This is absolutely affirming to Todd)
6. Jack shares that he and Todd are going to do this until the summer and then stop. Maybe or maybe not hey will pick it up again in the fall but that has not yet been decided.
(Men want to know when the agreed upon exit point is for the small group)
JANUARY is a great month to begin small groups.
Invite men to join you now through Memorial Day.
*Are you listening to our daily radio program for men? Go to www.Man2ManExpress.com to hear the daily broadcast.