Trying to find a way to connect the widening 60% who are unreachable by the attractional model? To do it, you must have an unwavering sense of direction.
The very heart of this series of articles on the keys to grouplife at crowd’s edge has to do with the certainty that the well-worn path never leads to a new destination. Translated…if your current system only connects the people who fill out a sign-up form to join a group…you must realize that connecting different people will require a different strategy.
If you’re connecting the same kinds of people every time you run a small group connection, it’s time to realize that the connection only connects the people in the room. Want different results? You’ll need to do different things.
So far, so good. But here’s where the problem comes along. Doing different things will be criticized. Doing different things will cause eyebrows to raise. Doing different things will draw a challenge.
To maintain course in the face of criticism, to move in a new direction even when eyebrows raise and your wisdom is challenged, will require an unwavering sense of direction. You’ll need to be certain that the well-worn path never arrives at a new destination.
You won’t be able to hesitate. You’ll want to be sure you don’t look back.
While I’ve always loved the truth in the Cheshire Cat’s line in Alice in Wonderland (“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”), in this case it is only almost true. It’s only almost true because the one thing you know for sure is that the well-worn path, the road you’ve been on won’t get you to where you need to go.
How to Develop Directional Confidence
First, you need to be spending time with unconnected people who are representative of the people you’re trying to connect. You need to develop an awareness of their interests, their hopes and dreams, and their fears and concerns.
Second, you need to recruit a posse that shares your conviction. You can’t do this alone. How to get started? Read The Next Christians and get a team together to discuss the Next Christians DVD-Driven Group Discussion.
Third, you need to learn to recognize the challenges, concerns and raised eyebrows for what they are…fears and uncertainties, particularly about changes in whose needs get prioritized.
And last, you need to learn to cast vision for the importance of connecting the 60% who are unreachable by the attractional model. These are different times. We are in post-Christian America (and you’re feeling it wherever you are in the world). And hearing “well done” will require an entirely different sense of direction.
What do you think? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.