by Steve Cordle
On Monday, Joel posted an excellent blog about taking the next step as leaders. Today Iâ€™d like to build on that by inviting you to think about taking the next step as a group.
Sometimes groups get stagnant because they need to take a next step and have not yet done so. There is a big difference, though, between taking a next step down the path and taking a step off the path.
The core purposes of a group are evangelism, discipleship, and community, with the goal of multiplication as new leaders are developed. When a group is stagnant, it is important not to stray from these purposes, but to go deeper in them. Resist the temptation of introducing a new focus for the group (bike-riding, etc.) and instead grow inward and stagnant.
For example, perhaps the way a group has done evangelism has grown stale. Donâ€™t abandon evangelism, just seek God about how He wants your group to do it on a new level. Perhaps He is calling the group to new boldness or new people. Quite often the next step requires risk, creativity and seeking of God. These all work together to create freshness in the group and effectiveness in the mission.
Maybe the groupâ€™s experience of community has settled into a predictable level. Is it time the leader takes a relational risk and shares what God is doing in him or her at a much deeper, more vulnerable level than before? Has the group’s prayer life grown stale? Maybe itâ€™s time to take a step to a new level and have an all-night prayer meeting?
What new level is God calling your group to take along the path?