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This Road Doesn’t Go “There”

One of the most important concepts for builders of small group ministry is that the well-worn path never leads to a new destination.  There really are times when the road you’re on does not lead to where you want to go…and the only way to get “there” is to move over to a new road, a new trajectory.

This drawing is from one of my most requested talks.  I explained it recently in an article called Different Leads to a Church OF Groups.  Today I just want to highlight an important aspect of the concept, one of those tiny details that sometimes get overlooked.

If you want to get to the preferred future (in the drawing), you have to move to a new trajectory.  This is one of those times when there’s really no alternative.  No matter how much you hope you end up where you want to go, no matter how hard you try or how many times you try, if you’re not on the right road…it just doesn’t go to there.

Only a new road, a new trajectory, goes to there.

For example, if you’ve been faithfully working the apprenticing strategy and, no matter how hard you work at it, it’s not producing new groups fast enough to keep up with the number of unconnected people…it’s time to try a new path.  Harder won’t get to there.  Smarter won’t either.  Only getting on a new trajectory.

What might the new trajectory be?  The small group connection was a new trajectory.  It identified leaders where you didn’t know you had them.  HOST is a new trajectory.  It identified leaders from the edges of the congregation and even the crowd and then connected people to groups far beyond what anyone anticipated.

New trajectories, new paths, lead to a different destination.  Want to go somewhere different?  Get on a different path.

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Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.