I work in the non-profit world. However, there are constant forays into the for-profit world and I find myself in them now and again since business network groups are important to raising awareness for a cause.
I’m impressed with the group I meet with on a regular basis. The passion for communicating and helping each other achieve goals is something to marvel at in a time where self-centeredness and pride tend to rule the airwaves.
Connectivity exists and there exists a common bond to help and be helped.
Church small groups can function this way by adopting some methods from these groups that are primarily focused on the bottom line.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
Get together. Be it in a house, be it in a coffee shop, texting or whatever forms of communication work best for your group throughout the week, make it a point to mix it up in each other’s lives. A text to a group member to ask how their day is going is one more ask than they might get all week. Every group member can do this, making sure the group leader is responsible for initiating all communication and becoming the parent in the group.
2. Share Goals
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.” – Romans 12:10
The old adage “seek first to understand . . . then to be understood” plays a healthy role in sharing goals. Listening to your group members and asking questions to understand what they are hoping to accomplish, achieve or just deal with before moving on to the next topic or prayer request can help a group member want to share more. The more open each group member is about the things going on in their life, the more vibrant a group will be if each member is seeking to share, listen and pray for one another as each person works toward allowing God’s will to flourish in their life. As we face the busyness and challenges of our own lives, let’s honor one another in concern for each other.
3. Follow Up
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4
Sometimes a small group can be where prayer requests go to die. When connecting and sharing is sparse, prayers get left on the wayside and groups risk letting a member walk a period of time alone. A consistent follow up by each group member can happen throughout the week asking how a certain meeting, procedure, conversation or project went. If a member doesn’t want to repeat the latest new multiple times, he or she can send an email or even have a conference call if they want to tell everyone the latest update. The technology is there. The desire to follow up takes work and is well worth it for everyone involved. Who knows when another group member will face the same issue, need the same encouragement and benefit from the way the group cared for a given member in the past?
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
In my networking group, there are shout-outs and even a few dollar bills put into a common jar for good things that have happened in business due to a connection made, a deal closed or a goal met from being part of the group. Church small groups should also stop down and take time to recognize the goodness of God and the gift we have in the perfect life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sharing a meal together and/or sharing an activity can help the group bond outside of the normal meeting and create some fun memories as well. Church small groups are allowed to have fun.
One of my favorite things is when the Bible is quoted or I exhibit Christian character on display in a business network group setting. It’s a reminder how God can impact a place anytime through anyone. As a Christian, I’m also able to find joy that our ultimate bottom line has already been paid for through Jesus Christ and we are able to demonstrate this same love to each other through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35