I’m sitting in the Cleveland Airport and everywhere around me are signs that say, “Going Places,” and “We’re Going Places.” There’s sign of improvement everywhere and I have to admit, it feels like they’re ‘going places.’
When it comes to leading groups, I wonder how many of us could say the same thing? Do we have a clear idea of why our group exists and what it’s trying to accomplish? The plane I’m about to board is also going places- Virginia to be exact. It’ll be successful if it makes it to Virginia on time and I make it in one piece. (I very much hope they are successful on both accounts.)
As a small group leader- where are you trying to go this semester? Finish this sentence, “This semester I hope the people in my group will…” Once you know where you’re going, it’ll be easier to work towards it.
As I’ve talked with people in groups over the past few semesters, some have shared, “I don’t know what our group is talking about,” or “I’m not sure where we’re going.” Confusion leads to frustration and frustration will lead to “checking out” of group. People might check out mentally (not fully engage in discussion) or physically (stop showing up at group).
On the first night of your group meeting- tell them what you’re group is trying to accomplish. As your group continues to meet throughout the semester, continue to remind them why your group exists.
If people feel like your group is “going places”, they’ll want to go with you. They’ll engage in discussion more and if you give them “homework”, they’ll be more likely to do it.