Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The dangers of inviting too early

I like it when someone makes a similar point that I did, but much, much, better.

A few years ago I wrote a post about the need to Pick the low hanging fruit when launching a new ministry. The folks at Youth Leaders Academy make a similar point here, but with some tremendous warnings.

To sum up, they warn newbie youth leaders to exercise caution in reaching beyond the walls of the church before you've securely established the founding group.

i throughly agree with the points made, especially the subtle message sent to those attending surrounding their worthiness as participants.

Let's face it, who wants to feel that they aren't (insert insecurity here) enough, thus the leadership needs to pursue others?

I think caution is needed when it comes to the timing of actively inviting others into a new group. 

First, they need time to develop and get comfortable in who they are.

How can you effectively invite someone to something when you yourself aren't sure what it exactly is, what it stands for and what it will look like regularly?

Second, as the saying goes, you need to earn the right to invite. 

Usually, we apply this to the invitee. You need to develop a relationship with the person your inviting in order for the invite to be most effective.

But, you also need to earn the trust of those in the existing group. You need to reassure them that, no matter how many "others" might arrive, they are still valued and they will always be cared for. In short, someone else won't get their attention or appreciation.

Finally, you need to give a new group time to develop. It needs time to set a cultural foundation and identity. They need to know who they are and what they're all about.

Otherwise you can destabilise a group still trying to find its feet.

These are the hidden dangers of the premature invite.

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