At the beginning of the semester the group leader stands at the proverbial front door and invites people to come in. City Group launches are designed to give a clear signal to those interested that the front door is open and they are welcome. After a few weeks, the front door remains open, but the leader has shifted their attention to the group gathering in the living room.
There comes a time in the life of a group where it may be beneficial to close the front door for a season. Your group may say, “for the next season, we would like to stay with the same group of people. We would rather not have new people join the group for now.”
Talking about this with your group
Someone may bring this up because they want a safe space to go deeper, the size of the group is growing, you are in the middle of a study, or because they want increased stability of who is in the room.
It makes most sense to have this discussion near the end of a semester (as you think about registering your group for the next semester). Talk first about desiring to commit to one another for a year, and then about closing the door for that time.
How to close the front door
- Talk to your Hub leader about closing the front door.
- Ask the group to commit to being part of the group for 12 months. Talk about what have enjoyed and your desire to develop deeper friendships.
- Commit to closing the door for 12 months. Let the group know that you will return to this conversation in 12 months.
- While the front door is closed, there is still a back door. If you want to welcome a specific newcomer, the whole group should agree to it.
- Give leadership away to others in the group as much as possible.
What it means for your group
- You will still register your City Group every semester
- Your group won’t be featured in any online or printed material
- Your Hub leader won’t send newcomers to you or your group
- Plan to return to this conversation in a year.
When you open the door again
- Multiply. Invite people who have stepped up to lead to consider going to City Group leader training. • Keep it fresh by welcoming new people into your group.