What are they?
Lead-Team dinners regularly gather a home group leadership team together with key home group workers for a night of fun and laughter, dinner, and focused discussion about your home group.
Why do them?
- They shorten the perceived distance to home group leadership for the workers because they see that leading a home group is fun and doable together.
- They build the “coalition of the committed”—a consensus on what is needed to help your home group accomplish its mission.
- They edify the participants because the fellowship of co-workers is especially sweet.
- They are an excellent ministry training opportunity because you discuss real, current home group ministry issues.
- They promote team leadership and the sense that “Together we can do this.”
Who should be invited?
- Invitees do not have to be almost ready for home group leadership, but they should be your most committed workers. You are telling them that you view them as key workers, and you want them to join you in discussing the home group’s mission.
- If you think it wise, you can invite people monthly rather than asking them to come from now on. This gives you a chance to observe them in this setting and decide if you want them to come regularly.
- With some invitee couples, one spouse may be more ready than the other. Whereas the couple would not be invited into home group leaders meetings, Lead-Team dinners may be suitable—and motivating for the less-developed spouse. These are subjective decisions that the home group leaders should agree on. You can also ask advice from your home group consultant.
- Keep the size of this group (including the home group leaders) small enough to all sit around a large dinner table. Otherwise, you will lose the chance to build a sense of camaraderie among all participants.
What do they look like?
- Plan on meeting no less frequently than every 4-6 weeks. It’s difficult to build unity and momentum if you meet less frequently than this. But don’t schedule Lead-Team dinner in addition to home group leaders meetings; use one of the home group leader meeting slots for this.
- Accommodate kids if possible. If those attending have only a few kids, consider hiring a babysitter at the host’s house. If the kids are old enough to watch themselves in a different room, consider having them accompany their parents.
- Consider meeting for dinner early enough that people can make their plans for later in the evening if they wish.
- Allow at least 2 hours for your time together.
- Be sure there is food and drink and laughter! Prioritize having fun and enjoying one another’s company as you prepare the food and eat together. This is all part of communicating one of the sweetest benefits of serving God—doing it with people you enjoy!
- Resist the tendency to make this into a teaching, or administrative meeting. Just pick one (or at most two) current and strategically important issues to discuss around the table after dinner. Pose the issue as a question, and encourage free-flowing discussion. The goal is not necessarily getting closure on the issue, but working together with God to help your home group grow and mature. Examples include:
- “How do you think Satan is currently attacking our home group? How should we respond?”
- “What do you think our plant plan should be?”
- “How do you think our home group meetings are going? What can we do to improve them? (Same question for outreach, prayer meeting, etc.)
- “We need to have a workers’ meeting. What is the need of the hour that we should cover at the workers’ meeting?” (Same question for a retreat)
- “We have a serious issue to address with X. How should we approach this?”
- Pray together after the discussion.
- After prayer, people should feel free to stay and fellowship, or go on with other plans for the evening.