The first phase of a group’s life begins with a sense that God is leading you to form the group.
You should begin with:
Prayer – ask God to confirm the calling by giving you a clear vision of His purpose and plan for the group and to bring the right people to His group.
A Co-Leader – find a co-leader, another person who shares this vision and anointing to co-lead the group with you. Pray together for the group.
A Vision – write down the vision God has given you for the purpose He has for the group.Jim White | Ambassador, Delap, LLP | Portland, Oregon, USA
Get Started in 10 Steps
- Secure an adequate meeting place.
- Prepare a timed agenda.
- Determine desired group size. The ideal group ranges from 8 – 12 members.
- Pray that God will bring the right people to the group.
- Invite potential members.
- Publicize the group to your target audience in your church or business community.
- Personally invite people and encourage “no obligation” attendance at an initial meeting. Get commitments to attend.
- Invite enough people to ensure your desired group size (about double the desired size of the group).
- Arrive early to prepare the room.
- Start on time, open with prayer.
- Address the WIFM (What’s In It For Me) questions.
- What is the group going to do?
- Who is in the group?
- Will I fit in?
- What will be expected of me?
- A bonding trust is critical
Be aware that people are hesitant to be completely open and honest at this stage in the group’s life.
- End on time or early.
- Confirm the time and place of the next meeting.
- Ask for a return commitment. Ask for contact information.
- Close with prayer. Thank God for those who attended and for a successful start.
- Follow-up after the meeting by calling people to invite their comments of the first meeting.
- Ask again for a return commitment.
- Send a reminder
After a successful launch, you begin the process of transition from “I” (a collection of individuals with purely selfish interests) to “we” (a group concerned with mutually enriching relationships). This phase may last three to five meetings. While a certain amount of early “storming” is inevitable, you can assist your group’s progress through this phase with a group covenant. A covenant sets boundaries and clarifies expectations of behavior.
- Deciding on meeting frequency, duration, day of the week and time of day, location and course of study.
- Deciding when, how or whether to accept new members into the group.