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building a community to reach a community

October 24, 2013

Where do we go from here?

This Sunday will be the last sermon in the Ultimate Journey series. Although the Ultimate Journey series is ending, we have only just begun to align our groups around the win of intentionally leading your group to be a strategic relational environment where group members can take their next steps in being changed by Christ and being used by Christ. If you missed the Ultimate Journey Group Training Event you will want to listen to the audio and download the training booklet that will be available online next week.     

This week, I was reading a book by Ryan T. Hartwig entitled, Bursting the Bubbles of Five Teamwork Myths. The first bubble he burst is that you build your team around relationships and trust. He believes that relationship and trust are built around a clear and shared purpose. He uses this profound quote by C.S. Lewis, "You can't get second things by putting them first; you can get second things by putting first things first."  

The author's point is that if you make the first thing purpose, then you get the second thing, relationship and trust. In our context, he would say that if seeing group members take the next step in the Ultimate Journey of being changed by Christ and being used by Christ is the first thing, then we will get the second - quality relationships in our groups.   

Let me invite you to join me in pondering the author's argument.

"If you start by building trust, team members will quickly lose enthusiasm to stay together because there is no reason - vision and purpose - to invest in getting to know one another and cultivating trust. Most fundamentally, people join together to do something they otherwise could not accomplish alone. 

People engage in teams and small groups to accomplish some purpose, to pursue some compelling vision, not build relationships and trust. 

The take away is simple: start by building trust, and you'll get neither relationship or mission. Start with mission, and you'll be able to accomplish your mission AND build great relationships.

As we finish this series, we begin a leadership journey together of aligning our groups around the Ultimate Journey vision of seeing people changed by Christ and used by Christ. I truly believe that if you will make this the vision and purpose of your group, the best of relationships will follow.  

Next Step for Your Group:  Our next teaching series, Chain Reaction, is from the book of Phillipians and will be a great follow up to the Ultimate Journey series for your group. We will design the Facilitator's Guide to look back at the message from Sunday and help you lead group members to personal applications that will help them take next steps of being changed by Christ and used by Christ.

Next Steps for Group Leaders: Group Leadership Huddles.  This is a group for you and other leaders to spend time focusing on leadership and group ministry development so that you are better equipped to shepherd your group in the ongoing Ultimate Journey experience of being changed by Christ and used by Christ. The first Huddle Groups will meet on Sunday morning, November 17. Please make it a priority to attend.  More info will be sent to you soon about your huddle group meeting time and location.   

Looking forward to continuing the journey with all of you!