We’ve been talking about building an exponential group system. In my last post we wrestled with the idea that a key early step in the journey to exponential is to have brutal honesty about the present…the way things really are right now.
Once you’ve developed a clear and honest understanding of where things really are right now, it’s time to start thinking about what is possible. And this really should be a process. It’s probably not a one session step. Instead, it’s probably something that you do over several sessions. And it really should be about dreaming big about all that’s possible in group life at your church.
Here’s how to get started. First, you ought to pull together a team of people who care about group life…and are open minded. I think both elements are really important. They need to care about group life because it might be out of their passion for it they’ll be able to dream about how best to make it available to everyone. At the same time, they need to be open minded about alternative ways it might develop…because if it was already firing on all cylinders you probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.
Second, you need to set some ground rules about the creative process you’re about to engage in. I’ve written about IDEO’s brainstorming rules right here. The key is to have an openness to a lot of possibilities because at this stage you’re really dreaming about the possible future. I don’t want to predetermine any of your process, but here’s an example of some of what could be on your whiteboard.
- we could begin to expect every group to identify a way to serve together (this leads to…)
- we could develop a team that finds local opportunities for service
- we could develop a team (or a connection with one) that sets up video interviews of groups serving together
- we could work with the pastor and develop a calendar for the year and plug in strategic elements for each season.
- we could begin to develop our on-campus leaders and add group life elements to more traditional classes
When you are in the dreaming stage…you need to write everything down, you need to go for lots and lots of ideas, and you need to try and add to what it being dreamed.
Third, it’s okay to read what other people are doing as a step in the process. In fact, I highly recommend that you read Creating Community, Sticky Church, and Activate while you’re in this process. Not that you would simply adopt a model, but that you would see more possibilities.
Remember, this should be a multiple step process. Maybe you have a session or two at the whiteboard, then read a book together (or each read one of the books), then come back together and hit the whiteboard again.
Don’t refine yet. That’s what we’ll talk about next time. If you’re not signed up to get the update, you can do that right here.