In January, I always find myself thinking about re-starting, re-connecting, re-focusing, and other such re-things. You too?
Everyone knows there’s nothing inherently magical about the month of January. Yet the start of a new year, the hanging of a new calendar on the wall, and going back to work after a few days off with family always seems to generate some “new” thinking. It’s just time to begin anew!
This creates the perfect time for a small group to re-engage with your small group covenant. Pull it out. Print it out. Hand it out. Look it over. Read it aloud—together. Pause. Repeat.
What is it saying? Does your covenant accurately represent your small group? Does it accurately capture your group’s goals and ideas for life transformation? It should. If it doesn’t, it’s time to re-visit and re-work your covenant.
In her book, Community That Is Christian, author Julie Gorman writes, “Covenants may be discussed and revised at any time. In fact, it’s important to keep current on commitments. If people renege on what was agreed upon, the group can rethink its decisions.”
The start of a new calendar year is always a good time to evaluate some of your original covenant decisions. Ask group members for honest answers to some tough issues:
• Are group members having a difficult time keeping their time commitments?
• Has the economy impacted the things group members can afford socially?
• Has the group grown emotionally close, but remain spiritually stagnant?
These things might cause you to re-work or adjust your covenant. Remember, the covenant is something that is developed by your group—for your group. It’s a tool to be used regularly to provide guidance and direction.
So re-engage your covenant. Re-work it. And encourage everyone to re-new for a great year of community life!