Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Summer Experiment: The How

So we've got this crazy idea to merge a Free Market small group model into a church-wide groups campaign or "alignment series." How do we plan to do that? Great question!

Here's how we are thinking it will work:

The Fusion
The "free market" remains intact as leaders have the freedom to choose 1) their neighborhood (in one of three categories: geographic, marketplace, or interest) and 2) their unique blessing to their chosen neighborhood (i.e., the way they implement what they are learning from the curriculum). The campaign comes in the form that 1) every group studies the same curriculum, which will be based on a sermon series, 2) the confusion over groups is minimized as every NCCer picks a group based on their neighborhood.

I'm praying specifically for 1,000 people in 100 small groups blessing the neighborhoods of Washington, DC. But I'm also praying specifically for two things:
  • A diversity of neighborhoods. I'm praying that we have groups in geographic neighborhoods in all four quadrants of DC, in northern Virginia, and Maryland. I'm praying that we see some really strategic marketplace neighborhoods, like the U. S. House of Representatives, schools, and Farragut North. And I'm praying for some really creative and culture-shaping interest neighborhoods- sports teams, book clubs, cooking clubs, artists, etc.
  • A diversity and abundance of blessing. I'm praying these neighborhoods hear from God and bless their chosen neighborhoods in ways we could never have dreamed or expected as a staff.
Best of both worlds. The creativity of the free market with the momentum of having everyone focused on the same goal at the same time. Basically, we are asking all groups to be on the "Influencer" island of our Discipleship Map for the summer semester.

Strategic Planning
Starting this month, we will pull together a strategic team consisting of a chief visioneer (that's me), and chief strategist (Sarah Owen), a Neighborhoods Catalyst, Promotion and Recruitment Catalyst, Curriculum Development Catalyst, and a Blessing Catalyst. This team will implement the systems and structure needed to make Summer 09 happen.

Tasks include:
  • Curriculum Development
  • Leader Recruitment and Training
  • Group Registration
  • Group Promotion
  • Celebration of Neighborhood Blessings
If anyone has done anything like this before, or if you have wisdom and insight in leading church-wide group campaigns or alignment series, I crave any advice you would be willing to share!


At 9:14 PM, Blogger everyonesAwriter said...

Ours is called the "Same Page Study." Every September all groups and studies suspend their current topics (or plan to end on time) and we all study a chosen series. It helps us launch new groups and is our major push each year for groups.

Also, most of our groups do not meet weekly, they meet 2-3 times per month. In September, they meet each week for 4 or 5 Sundays (depending on how September falls). This really helps cement those new relationships. They miss each other the week they stop meeting, and are quick to jump into a group long-term.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger everyonesAwriter said...

The other year we also added an additional element-- the kids' pastor and I worked on an elementary version of the curriculum, and then I wrote one for the youth pastors to use with their groups as well. Youth meet separately, but adult groups usually rotate a parent or two to hang with the kids and do their version. That way we had more family integration.

I'd really love to tie it to a sermon series this year. I tried the web interaction thing, but thus far our church didn't get into that. Now that more and more (older) people are getting onto Facebook, we'll probably want to integrate that this year and see how it goes again.


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