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Posted by on Nov 9, 2010 in Blog |

Open Groups – Part 4: The Group Covenant

Welcome to Part 4 of this 5-Part series of articles on “open groups”.  If you’re just catching up with the conversation, be sure and read the preceding articles as well:

Part 1: Open Groups
Part 2: Kingdom Mindset
Part 3: The Open Chair

As the title suggests, this tip revolves around the group covenant.  As your group formed, you should have spent some time discussing the “ground rules” for your group—the expectations for what group life will be like and what your group will value.  If you want to learn more about group covenants and see some examples, you can read the following:

Christianity Today Article on Group Covenants

In my conversation with Rick Howerton, he talked about the simple role of the group covenant in maintaining an open group:

“Build openness and growth into the group covenant from the beginning.”

The best way to keep a group on track toward growth and openness is by putting those values down on paper during the formation stage of the group.  If you group covenant has openness and growth built into it, be intentional about revisiting the covenant periodically and reminding the group of its core values.  Sometimes all a group needs is a regular reminder of the things it values most.

If your covenant does not include the values of openness and growth, then you may want to consider leading the group through a process of incorporating these values into the covenant.  For a couple of suggestions on how to do this, refer to the steps in Part 2: Kingdom Mindset.

Take some time this week to pull out your group covenant and review it.  Ask yourself some questions:

  • Are the values of openness and growth built into our group covenant?
  • If so, how can I revisit these values on a regular basis with our group to keep them in front of us?
  • If not, when and how can I help the group bring these values into our covenant?