When a group has embraced the Great Commission as its purpose, it has the proper foundation to build a great group. Once that foundation is laid, the following principles can be applied.
• Groups need to understand their purpose. If we understand the “why” of what we are about, then it will define the “how” of getting it done. If the why is reaching and discipling people, then we have the direction for how we are going to accomplish the work.
• Groups need to understand their guests. Most of the time a group reaches people that are most like them because that is with whom they associate. Sometimes we have a guest unlike ourselves. How the group leader responds to that person can directly impact how the rest of the group will react. Everyone needs to be in a group, and our group could be that group.
• Groups should be excited about themselves. When a person enjoys the fellowship, the teaching, and missions and ministry a group is doing, then they are going to want others to be a part. We will invite our friends to something that we hope will bring as much
to theirs lives as it has ours.
• Groups need to anticipate guests. If we pray for God to grow our group and the group understands that invited guests are going to grow the group, then we need to plan for their attendance. Having a place for them to sit, having people ready to receive them, and having a plan to follow-up with them shows that we are anticipating them attending the group.
• Groups need to assimilate guests. When people attend a group for the first time, they need to know that the group wants them to be a part. That means they are welcomed and introduced and immediately included in the planning of socials and mission activities of the class.
• Groups need to follow-up with guests. Getting together with a guest outside of the group meeting space and time helps the guest know that we care about them. They sense that we are willing to use our time and resources to invest in them. Immediate connections should be made on the day the group meets. This can be done by text, email, or social media. This will help to answer any immediate question that they might have about the group or the church.
• Groups should be excited about their guests. This excitement comes from a sense of success that they are doing a good job reaching out to people. It comes from a room filling up. We all want to be a part of something that is successful.
If we stick to our purpose of reaching and discipling people, we have a benchmark to measure our success in doing kingdom work.