Preparing to Launch

This weekend we’ll kick-off our first Small Group Launch event of the new year! It’s an exciting, invigorating, and somewhat stressful time all rolled into one.

January is always an active time for small groups. New Year’s resolutions and new beginnings help spur people to action. The discussion goes something like this:

Wife: “I’ve been thinking that we need to get more deeply connected in church.”

Husband: “You know, you’re right…But where?”

Wife: “I think a small group might be what we need.”

Husband: “What does that look like?”

Wife: “About a dozen people who get together in people’s homes each week. They talk about life, study the Bible, and pray for each other.”

Husband: “That’s sounds like something we could do. How do we get started?”

That’s where my excitement, invigoration, and stress come in. These people are ready to jump in. My job is to provide them an opportunity to connect with others who are interested in the same. Give them a solid foundation on which to do this. And then prepare them launch.

At our church, we work through a 3-week process that includes a bit of foundational Bible teaching on authentic community, vision-casting that details the specific way our small groups are structured, and some facilitated (yet organic) group discussion. It’s a process that has produced much fruit in 2010 and over the past few years!

So we begin our first Launch event of the new calendar year. We do so with hope, prayer, and expectation. But we don’t do it without a clear plan. We are very intentional about how we form and how we launch new small group communities. We believe it’s of utmost importance to lay a strong Biblical foundation for small groups. To explain and instruct on what makes our small groups a bit different than other churches. Without that, a small group can quickly become a group of people hanging out who just happen to be Christians. No purpose. No focus. No growth.

So we pray for those who are coming. We pray for those who will launch. We pray that their desire to be connected will be the start of something truly life-changing!

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Rob Bentz, is a pastor at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, CO and the author of The Unfinished Church: God’s Broken and Redeemed Work-In-Progress a recent release by Crossway.