A good small group gardener also has a plan. The plan involves what to plant, when to plant, etc. The dream or picture for small group is discovered in prayer. The calendar is a helpful gardening tool for small Group leaders and coordinators as they implement the vision.
Small Group leaders plan their calendars to grow group members. How will you plan to grow love for God in your group? Perhaps you have chosen a Bible or book study that is twelve weeks long. Put those dates on your calendar. What other ways could you encourage love toward God? Maybe schedule an outdoor God walk, a quiet time to meditate on scripture or an extended time to pray. How will you plan to grow your commitment to each other? Plan some time to play, eat together or maybe go on a family outing. Put it on your calendar! How will you love your neighbors? Pray together for friends at meetings, host a neighborhood picnic or schedule a service day. After you design a draft calendar, bring it to your group to discuss and revise. Then do it!
Small Group Coordinators use calendars to garden and grow their small group ministry. There are seven essential gardening tasks that nurture group growth. Some of these tasks are seasonal, some are ongoing. Take some time to plan your yearly calendar. Write in each month when each task should happen based on your small group ministry plans. Download the sample calendar for more information.
- Prayer – Pray for God’s plans. Read Imagine.
- Vision – Develop and cast vision for the small group ministry.
- Plan – Prepare the yearly schedule and events that support the vision.
- Recruit – Recruit leaders.
- Train and Support – Provide introductory and ongoing training for leaders.
- Connect – Promote small group initiatives and help people connect to groups.
- Care – Monitor and care for the health of your ministry, leaders and groups.
You might be surprised what comes up in your garden. God might be growing something different than you expect. Have fun gardening!