Step 6: Launching a New Connect Group

Launching Process

A. Every Connect Group leader needs to be committed to growing in strength and number.

B. The next leader should only be selected and approached in consultation with the Hub Leader.

C. Make sure it’s the right time to launch. (That means a leader has been prepared to start the new Connect Group)

D. Make sure you have enough consistent members to multiply into two healthy Connect Groups (with about 5 – 6 regular members in each group).

Training Process

Training is all about modeling. Here are three simple steps to “modeling:”

  • You model it, they watch. (Explain the ‘whys’)
  • They do it, you watch. (Make it clear you will give feedback beforehand)
  • They do it on their own.

Modelling Process

What to model:
A. Model How to Ask Great Questions
When asking questions regarding the study content there are 3 different types of questions we can ask:
 
Closed Questions – When, What, Where, Who (Usually the answer is “Yes” or “No” or a one line sentence).
 
Open Questions – Why (“Why” can tell you what they think about the content).
 
Wide Open Questions – How (How do you feel about that? “How” can tell you how they feel about the content). This can then lead to prayer and application.
 

Sample:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
Romans 8:1-2 NLT

 

Focus:
Grace, Freedom, sonship

 

Questions:
Closed – Who is this written for? (Believers)
What happened to these believers? (Set free)
Open – Why did Jesus free them? (He loves them)
Open Wide – How do you feel about that? This is a good time to set the ground rules, i.e. set time boundaries.
Conclusion – Prayer and application rather than trying to finish a study.

 

Tips:
No such thing as a dumb question.

 
Be patient and give people time to answer, or they can pass if they don’t want to answer or want to think about it some more. You can come back to them later if they want more thinking time, especially if it’s a wide open question.

If people are shy use closed questions to help them get used to answering questions.
You can model short simple answers and patiently waiting for others to answer.
 
B. Model How to Effectively Manage Different Types of People

  1. Realize that people are awesome.
  2.  

  3. Desire to lead different types of people well. Connect groups are the best place to observe and learn this skill.
  4.  

  5. Be a team builder and share the values of the team with the group. Values such as simple prayer, journaling, etc. And other values such as, everyone should have an opportunity to talk. Therefore, we also need to communicate the value of setting appropriate time limits: Look at the recommended run sheet, and give the group the guidelines upfront.
  6.  

  7. Ask good questions.
  8.  

  9. Understand these two types of people:
    a) Talkative People
    Ask talkative people to be fire-starters. This means that they are people who can break the ice and help you, by being the first to answer questions. It’s then easy to bounce questions off them onto the less talkative people, “Jenny what do you think about what Mika just said?”Ask talkative people to help you by sticking to time guidelines. “I’m so blessed to have you in our group, could you help me by sticking to the time limit? Is that ok?”
    Get agreement by explaining further, “Please come on the team with me, it’s my goal to help everyone to talk. Can you help me?”
    Ask them to not just express their opinion, but to help encourage others.
    Therefore modeling short simple answers, making it less intimidating for a person who is not that comfortable with saying a lot.
     
    b) Quiet People
    Ask quiet people to read a Bible verse that’s short and simple. Questions should be simple.
    Start with a closed question, “Is that just for the disciples or is it for everyone?” They answer, “I think it’s for everyone.” You encourage them, “Very good, yes it’s for everyone.”
    Help them to get wins. Remember that there’s no such thing as a wrong answer or question. You can always bounce off the answer, by asking someone else in the group, “What do you think about that?”
  10.  

  11. Have Goals:
    • To facilitate conversation, so that everyone can say something and feel valued.
    • To pray for the awesome people God has brought into your group for this semester.
    • To be ready to bring someone back onto the point at any time. . . “Let’s talk about that after Connect Group is finished.”
      Be aware that if one person is constantly pulling things off track, your other members will start to lose interest. We want people to go home encouraged and excited to come back next week, because the group was great, there was something of spiritual value, and we stuck to time.
    • To seek help from leaders who are good at managing people. Ask them for tips, “What would you do in this situation?” Or ask for feedback if they have the opportunity to observe you.

C. Model how to teach core studies.
(Such as, baptism, journaling, simple prayer, clean heart, and sexual purity from the Blue Book).
 
D. Model how to report on the online database.

Building Process

A. Be visionary!

B. Invitation and connection – Encourage the Connect Group to work as a team in reaching out to people (teamwork). Ask consistent members in the group to help you invite and connect with new members. Connecting with new friends as a Connect Group team, not only makes new people feel included, but it also makes existing members feel like they have a part to play.

C. Share and Celebrate – The small ways we can touch people’s lives and good news.

D. Grow Course and Dream Team – Ask members if they would like to do the Grow Course. Encourage them to consider using their gifts by serving on the Dream Team.

E. Build Community – Ask members if they want to get involved in Community Connect Groups.