The Greatest GroupLife Delusion

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What would you say is the greatest grouplife delusion?  Take a moment…and think about it.  Got an idea?

You may have your own idea.  You should have your own idea.  But for me, I’m going with a version of what Peter Drucker pointed out about product development:

“The greatest self-delusion is the belief that the outlook for a product improves the more resources are poured into it.  Few popular maxims are as wide of the mark as, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’  ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try once more–and then try something else’ is more realistic.  Success in repetitive attempts becomes less rather than more probably with each repetition (p. 62, Managing for Results).”

Translation?  The greatest grouplife delusion is the belief that doing the same thing this year that we did last year might have a different result.

Here are some examples:

  • Over the last two years only 3 of our 18 groups with apprentices have birthed a new group…but this may be the year.
  • Only 60% of the people who sign up for New Leader Training show up and complete the 8 week course and only 40% of those who complete it have successfully launched and sustained a new group beyond the second curriculum…but maybe this year will be different.
  • We haven’t been able to recruit enough pre-qualified leaders to meet the demand at the last three GroupLinks…but this fall might be different.

I could go on, but you see where this is going.  The greatest grouplife delusion is the belief that doing the same thing this year that we did last year might have a different result.

The reason I point out that Different Leads to a Church OF Groups and tell you that you need An Unwavering Sense of Direction and remind you over and over about The Perils of the Well-Worn Path is that I’m convinced that what we do is the main chance for the widening 60% (who will not be reached by the attractional model).  I want you in on this…but Drucker was right.  Rather than trying one more time, you’re going to have to abandon what isn’t working and “try something else.”

What do you think?  Got a question?  Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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  1. Terry Ivy on July 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Excellent Mark! Reminds me of Einstein’s definition of insanity, which is, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Different situations, geographical locations, cultural tendencies, purpose of group, vision of group, leadership of group, etc… can and should be reasons for adjustment (major or minor) in order to meet the people at their need. I believe the Lord is constantly desiring to remove us of ‘cemeteries of habit’ and step us into ‘fields of harvest.’ May all who read your article lay down the mechanical methods of reaching out, and instead, lay before the Lord and let His direction breath life into efforts with ‘new wine in new wineskins.’ Thanks for sharing…. Terry 

  2. Anonymous on July 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks for jumping in here, Terry! I love it!