The Summer Experiment: The Why
For a few weeks now, I've been hinting that we will change up our small group strategy for the summer semester. I cast the vision at leadership retreat this past weekend, so now I'm ready to unveil the idea here at the blog.
For several years, we have operated primarily out of a free mark approach to small groups. Get a vision from God and run with it. Tap into your interests, passions, and gifts and look for creative ways to turn those into disciple-making opportunities. As a church, we won't tell you what to study and what to lead; rather, we will help you discover your passions and then encourage you, equip you, empower you and unleash you to go make disciples out of those passions.
This summer, we are going to try a twist on that model and launch a new experiment.
Theory #1- Free Market small group models are the best for building organic community, raising up new leaders, and pushing discipleship out of the classroom and into real life.
Theory #2- Church-wide small group campaigns are the best for mobilizing new group start-ups, encouraging people into groups, and focusing the entire church on one strategic goal.
Theory #3- Theory #1 + Theory #2 = Chaos and Confusion = The Best of Both Worlds = Potential to Learn Something New = A New Wineskin for Discipleship.
Basically, we are going to try to create a hybrid. We are going to merge our free market DNA with the energy, synergy, and momentum that happens in churches that all focus on the same study at once. We want to see if we can implement both a free market and a church-wide strategy. We want to launch both a small group campaign and focus on taking groups deeper all at the same time. Can it be done? I have no idea. But we've got to try this experiment.
Here are some things we are hoping will happen:
- Sermon-based Bible study curriculum that all groups will study together.
- More leaders stepping into leadership.
- More NCCers stepping into small groups.
- Every group prayerfully and creatively discovering and implementing a way to spread the Gospel and bless their community.
- 1,000 people in 100 small groups prayerfully and creatively blessing the neighborhoods of Washington, DC.