Don't Lose Control of Your Group, Recovenant!

Revisiting your group covenant can ensure that needs continue to be met.

Do you want your small group to remain healthy year after year? From the vantage point of overseeing 140 small groups, I observe one common denominator of vibrant, enduring groups: they recovenant.

Since people come into a small group with a wide range of experiences and expectations, I strongly advocate that new groups develop a covenant—-a written statement outlining the group's purpose and ground rules. It's important for a group to agree upon which needs they can legitimately fulfill, and how they will meet those needs. Once a covenant is developed, groups should regularly consult it for planning, accountability, and evaluation.

Of course, people grow and circumstances change. That's why it's so important to periodically revisit the covenant. Recovenanting allows expression of new hopes and expectation. Some of our groups have stayed together for more than 10 years because they have consistently redefined their purposes and have restructured their ground rules to accommodate changes.

Groups recovenant at different times: after each unit of study, after a prolonged break (such as summer vacations), when new members join, and so on. I suggest recovenanting at least once a year.

People are more willing to join groups and make commitments when they know it's for a specified period. Recovenanting safeguards against going four of five years without asking, "Do you still want to participate?" or "Are you still willing to make these commitments?"

Recovenanting may reveal new expectations and hopes for the group. "We would like more in-depth Bible study." "Let's do more mission projects." "Could we meet once a month just for fellowship?"

In groups where no one talks about needs, people often become sporadic in attendance and ...

article Preview

This article is currently available to SmallGroups.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter : Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.

Related

Eliminate Barriers to Community
Eliminate Barriers to Community
Structure your groups for maximum participation.
The Power of Vision
The Power of Vision
Articulate a clear vision for your ministry and see the amazing results.
What You Can Do to Develop More Women Small-Group Pastors
What You Can Do to Develop More Women Small-Group Pastors
Despite a plethora of female group leaders, few small-group pastors are women.
The Right Way to Do Small Groups
The Right Way to Do Small Groups
What I've learned from years of small group consulting
Should Your Small Group Become a Missional Community?
Should Your Small Group Become a Missional Community?
Why The Austin Stone made the switch
Multi-Site Small-Group Ministries Don't Have to Be Chaotic
Multi-Site Small-Group Ministries Don't Have to Be Chaotic
How one multi-site pioneer structures small-group ministry for success