All by Myself
Darryl's first small-group meeting is a little lonely.
It's the start of a new year in small-group ministry at Darryl's church. He's excited to start a new group that will study Philippians. He spent hours in prayer for the group, and he advertised in the small group brochure at church. Plus, he's been telling everyone he knows about the group. He's asked men, women, couples, college students, and anyone else who would listen to him talk about the group. A lot of people showed interest in the group, and seven people said they would definitely make it. Darryl even sent an e-mail to all the people he talked to, reminding them about the first meeting and explaining in great detail how to get to his apartment and where to park.
As the first meeting approached, Darryl began to feel anxious. Was he cut out for this? What if there were too many people to fit in his small apartment? What if people asked questions to which he didn't know the answers?
Despite his fears, he prepared some fun icebreaker activities for the first night, set up extra chairs in his living room, and even made brownies. To his surprise, he was done 20 minutes early. So he sat down to wait for his new group members, who would be arriving at 7:00 pm.
Darryl waited 20 minutes. Then another 20 minutes. Then 10 more minutes. At 7:30, he frantically checked his phone, thinking he must have missed some calls from potential group members. Then one person showed up—his friend, Steve, from down the street. Steve muttered something about running late because of a dinner meeting, and quickly sat down. Now Darryl had a new reason to feel anxious: only one person showed up.
What should Darryl do? Should he begin his group as planned or should he reschedule? Should he try contacting the other potential group members? If so, what should he say?
|Topics:||Attendance, Launching, Meeting, New groups, Starting groups|
|Date Added:||July 30, 2012|
He should begin his class as planned. This may not be an issue of Darryl's lack of planning or anything wrong but an immediate test of his faithfulness and to what degree he will be committed, whether with few or many. The one who came should be allowed to participate and have the forum to do so. Darryl should do a follow up phone call to see what happened to those that registered to participate and didn't come, to see what happened and if they need a more effective reminder or if they changed their minds. This should let him know if he needs to invite potential group members.
Darryl should begin the group as planned but make it a lot personal for Steve. Any group activities should be left out but the topic of the activities could easily be discussed and Darryl should take advantage of the one on one time with Steve to find out any specific area that Steve may need help or guidance in. At the end of the meeting he should invite Steve back for the next group meeting and continue to invite everyone else.
Where two or more are gathered... Darryl should begin the study as planned.
Start with the one person and dive into the text. Open discussion and close it in prayer and an invite back for the next meeting. Pray alone that God would fill your house and fill you with wisdom to share when the group starts to grow.
I would think God had a purpose for just Steve to show up so I would spend the time talking with Steve and seeing if he had any prayer requests and see what was going on in Steve's life. If the time allowed for you to get into Philippians, that would be great, too. That one-on-one time could be a great time of relationship building and possibly the two of you could pray for the direction of the group and for other group members. If no one else showed up, Steve and Darryl could have a really in-depth study on Philippians. I think it would be great to contact the other group members the next day and let them know that the two of you met for group and wanted to be able to plan for the rest of the time and ask if they were still interested in showing up. I think a lot of times people think they won't be missed because they think a lot of people will probably show up so they feel let off the hook.