I love my GPS. Whenever I drive somewhere new, a sophisticated female voice with a British accent kindly directs my route, telling me where to turn and whether to turn left or right. She doesn't tell me when to turn, though. Pulling up to a stop light and waiting until the coast is clear is my responsibility.
I am responsible for knowing the optimal time to turn the corner–that is, when I can turn without getting nailed by a semi. If I turn at the wrong time, the results will be devastating and everyone in the vehicle will be injured.
That's because timing is everything.
Timing is important for small groups, too. Books and conferences can tell you what to do, but not when to do it. That means group leaders must accurately read the environment of their small groups in order to know when is the right time to make a change or start something new.
With that in mind, here are a few tips about timing when it comes to small-group leadership:
- Complete an agreed upon study before moving on to a different curriculum piece. You may sense that the present study isn't what you had hoped for, but if the group was involved in choosing the study, moving from it before completion will create silent discontent.
Remember: timing is everthing.