The first time I used a Garmin (GPS) I was driving from Charlotte, NC, to Abingdon, VA. My commuter flight from Charlotte had been cancelled and the next flight would have meant a late start at the church I was to visit the next day. My host said, “Just rent a car and drive over. It’s about a two and half hour drive. Get a GPS…it’ll make it easier.”
So far, so good. It was easy to turn on the GPS and enter the address of the church in Abingdon. Looked like it’d be simple. Only two problems. Didn’t have a map of the area and didn’t know you could set the GPS for “Interstate Highways.”
If it had been a 48 Hours or Primetime segment the narrator would have said, “Mark couldn’t have known he was about to take a windy, 28 mile detour through moonshine country and the Appalacian Mountains.”
Everything was fine for the first 45 minutes…and then I saw the first detour sign. Of course, GPS systems don’t know anything about detours. And I didn’t know how to turn the voice off…so for the next hour I heard, “Recalculating. Make a u-turn in 100 feet.” What was supposed to take two and half hours took almost four. And the movie Deliverance came to my mind more than once.
If You’re Hearing “Recalculating”
It could be that you’re beginning to hear, “Recalculating…,” from your GroupLife System. Here are the signs your system needs an update:
- You’re adding new groups every year but your “adult percentage connected” (number of adults in groups divided by average weekend adult worship attendance) is dropping or remaining the same (read The “Catch a Moving Train” Scenario for more).
- You’re not identifying leaders fast enough to meet demand and the stack of member sign-up cards continues to grow (read What’s the Best Way for People to Sign Up and Commit to a Group for more)
- You’re connecting only die-hard fans of community (the usual suspects) and very few first timers (read How to Choose the Right Church-Wide Campaign)
- You struggle to find any real stories of life-change when you’re looking for testimonies (see To Do List: Film Video Testimonies That Inspire Action for more)
- Members of your coaching team are very fulfilled (love coming to your meetings) but aren’t very fruitful (reporting only ineffective attempts to connect with their leaders). (Read Three Keys to a Coaching Tune-Up for more)
These are just a few of the most important signs that your grouplife system needs an update. The key to remember is that “your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you’re currently experiencing.” (Andy Stanley). Don’t like the results? Hearing “recalculating?” Might be time to update your system.
What do you think? Got a question? Have a sign you want to add? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
Image by necopunch