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Don’t Let the Risk Take Your Eyes off the Opportunity

As I looked at the crowded room, I felt the curious mix of anticipation and anxiety that I always feel when a small group connection is about to begin.  To be completely honest, there’s even just a little hint of resignation as I balance the 75 minutes or so against the lives that are just about to change.

Without an available room at the optimum times (right after each of the services), we decided to hold connections on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.  With the full support of my senior pastor and three straight weeks of promotion in his weekend message, we came into our final morning of promotion with over 650 people signed up.

Sunday night we connected over 210 adults into 15 new small groups.  Guided by the design of the event, each group chose leaders (you can read my article How to Launch Groups Using a Small Group Connection for details on how the Connection works).  Wish you could have seen it or even felt it.  Very cool to be there.

I’ve been using the small group connection strategy since 2000.  I’ve personally launched well over 1,000 small groups and I’ve coached hundreds of churches in its use.

It is a great strategy.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that the connection process is reckless.  I’ve been told lots of times that it “doesn’t work here.”  I’ve seen the eye rolls as I describe how it works.

At the end of the day, here’s what I know.  The small group connection strategy is not without risk.  That is a given.  At the same time, the opportunity makes it all worth while.  Sunday night was exhibit A.  As over 200 newly connected people lingered around tables, the room still buzzed of conversation.  That was exciting, but there was something else even more exciting.  As the group of new leaders crowded around me to hear my brief standup meeting…I knew once again the thrill of watching a journey begin.

I hope you know that thrill.  It comes when you learn to not let risk take your eyes off the opportunity.

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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.