Part 5: Maintaining Momentum & Health
How do we maintain momentum within a Connect Group and ensure a healthy group dynamic?
Meeting Regularly and Consistently.
Firstly, meeting regularly and consistently helps maintain momentum. In addition, it builds trust with the people in your Connect Group. So, for example, if you start at 7 pm, with food and coffee and end at 8:30 pm, honour people’s time by being consistent with your times. People can hang around afterwards but give people a clear indication of when those are.
Also, consider whether you will have regular breaks for instance, during school holidays or when people are away, such as the festive season & give people precise breakup dates and, most importantly, when you will be starting again as a group. Keeping the rhythms of Connect Group going with the school terms is helpful since most people with children orientate themselves around the term times.
Postponing Connect Group
Sometimes life gets crazy, and you have to postpone meeting together that week, which can happen occasionally. It’s vital that if you’re going to postpone that it’s done early enough and communicated to everyone well; just be realistic about why you are postponing. Missing one evening won’t necessarily hurt momentum, but two weeks in a row will hurt the momentum of your group. Try as much as possible not to miss two weeks in a row. If it keeps happening, consider scoping ahead in the month and assessing when life may get crazy and maybe move to connect group that evening from your home to another home and get someone else to lead.
Keep it Consistent! Keep it fun!
The third principle that helps in terms of ensuring a healthy group dynamic is to have fun. Consider now and then changing things up not to make it too boring and predictable. So, for one evening, change things up and do a braai together, or go for a walk together.
Make sure you keep fresh!
Thirdly, as a leader, you should find ways to keep yourself fresh. Regularly meeting with the Lord and reading your Bible helps keep you fresh.
Keep the conversation clear.
Another thing that helps is using the Connect Group guide; it stops the Connect Group discussion from becoming stagnant and people defaulting to their theological and philosophical bents. It also prevents you from defaulting to what you usually like to discuss. Remember that you’re leading people in a direction somewhere. There can be other distractions where somebody can dominate the group discussion. Distractions like a dog constantly barking or phones going off can bring distractions into the conversation.
Keep the conversation clear.
Lead somewhere or volunteer someone and watch God grow them and watch God go to them. That’s very, very important. Oscar, what about each person in your group and lead them, help, help lead them into his core for their life? That’s very, very important for them. Say to yourself in your heart; this is long-term. It will keep you grounded, make people invest in you and the church and God’s call, and build trust.
Keep your group part of the whole church.
It’s very important that you continue pointing people back to the local church. You don’t want your group to become isolated and disconnected from the local church. Get them to events that are hosted by the church, too, and obviously get them to Sundays. Get them involved in serving so that they feel like they belong and not simply sit passively in a church on Sundays.
Share Testimonies & Celebrate Moments
Share testimonies of what God’s doing in other people’s lives. If there are answered prayer celebrate that, and always point people to the fact that God is moving. Also, celebrate moments in the lives of people, whether it’s a job promotion, a new job opening, a birthday celebration, kid’s birthday. Celebrate and share those moments.