accidents create inventions.
You Can Do This!
A PRIVATE "Double Dinner" may be your key to getting
teachers to catch the vision for doubling.
have heard the story of the post-it note:
No one got the idea and then stayed up
nights to invent it. A man named Spencer Silver was working in
the 3M research laboratories in 1970 trying to find a strong
adhesive. Silver developed a new adhesive, but it was even
weaker than what 3M already manufactured. It stuck to objects,
but could easily be lifted off. It was super weak instead of
No one knew what to do with the stuff, but
Silver didn't discard it. Then one Sunday four years later,
another 3M scientist named Arthur Fry was singing in the
church's choir. He used markers to keep his place in the hymnal,
but they kept falling out of the book. Remembering Silver's
adhesive, Fry used some to coat his markers. Success! With the
weak adhesive, the markers stayed in place, yet lifted off
without damaging the pages. 3M began distributing Post-it ®
Notes nationwide in 1980 -- ten years after Silver developed the
super weak adhesive. Today they are one of the most popular
office products available.
Sometimes accidents can produce inventions. A
Double Dinner might be an example.
The accident happened September 9th of this
last year. Bill Hawks had invited me to speak. It was a last minute
deal--a response to a letter I had sent to churches in Mississippi.
I was trying to add some dates to an existing trip. Because the
meeting was scheduled so late, Bill didn't have time to do the
traditional promotions--posters, pulpit announcements, letters,
PowerPoint before the service, etc. So, he made one phone call and
sent one email to each of his teachers. The wording of the phone
call was very important:
We are going to have a meeting on the 9th for
Sunday School teachers. It is a last minute opportunity. We just
got a letter and Josh Hunt will be here. You won't be hearing
anything about it in the bulletin or newsletter; we are just
inviting a few people that we want to be there. It will include
supper at such and such restaurant. Do you think you could come?
As it turns out, this private meeting was
better attended that just about any meeting of its kind the church
has had. I can think of several reasons why:
- The presentation made people feel
important. It had the tone about it that said, "This is not for
everyone; just for the important people. You are one of the
- It was private. People like private
- It was personal. No mail merged letters.
Personal phone calls followed up by one personal email. People
- It was unusual. We are so used to hearing
so much from announcements, bulletin inserts, newsletters, etc,
we have learned to tune it out. The quietness of the
announcement was loud.
You could do this.
I did it this last Friday night for my own
church. We had our first Double Dinner. I called some teachers from
our 11.00 Sunday School and invited them to a dinner where I cast a
vision for doubling groups. No public announcements. No bulletin
inserts. No posters. I walked around the building before the 11.00
Sunday School started and personally invited the teachers to come. I
followed up with one email. Oh, I did one other thing that I think
helped. We have a new pastor and I invited him to attend, which he
was gracious enough to do. We provided a meal and I did a little
vision casting on doubling groups.
We had 23 people show up. One couple called to
say he was sick. One called to say they had to go out of town to get
his daughter. One couple was a no show. One no-show couple out of a
potential of 29. That is the power of a private meeting.
You might be thinking, "Well, you can do that
because you are THE Josh Hunt. (Or, maybe you are not thinking
that!) Either way; it is not true. Around here I am just Josh Hunt.
. . what do you do for a living again? This same church asked me to
do a "normal" conference a few years ago. One person and I explored
together how to double. A prophet is without honor in his own home
I think the reason we had such a good showing
had to do with the approach. People like a private meeting. It makes
them feel important.
NOTE TO FUTURE HOSTS: you might consider doing
our conference this way.
For an audio that was more or less what I
presented, go here:
Here is a summary of what I presented:
There is within the heart of anyone who has
been touched by grace and inclination that says, "I have got to tell
someone about this." As we study the Scriptures we discover that God
has called upon us to do the same. Yet about 90% of us do not feel
comfortable with traditional forms of evangelism. I am one of those
90%. But, I have found a way, and that is by being in a group that
grows and divides, grows and divides, grows and divides. It is
modeled for us in 2 Timothy 2.2
In 2 Timothy 2.2, Paul says to Timothy, "The
things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses,
entrust to reliable men who will also be able to teach others. If
you can imagine that Paul said this to Timothy and three others, our
multiplication tree looks like this:
But, Paul didn't stop there, the text says,
"entrust to reliable men." If each of these entrusted to 4 reliable
men, we have this picture:
If each of these boxes represents an average
sized Sunday School class, we now have 210 attending, but Paul
didn't stop there. He said, "The things you have heard me say in the
presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will also be
able to teach others." If each reproduces to 4 others, we have a
chart that looks like this:
That is the power of multiplying groups.
Perhaps it would help if we fleshed this out. Someone shared with me
recently this series of pictures. First, we have a man named Paul. I
don't know if his real name was Paul or not, but he is clearly
holding a sign that says, "Paul."
Paul reproduces into seven men--his Timothy's:
Each of these reproduce into some faithful
And the faithful men reproduce into some
If each of those represented a group leader,
you begin to have some idea of the power of 2 Timothy 2.2.
I told the
story of Andy Stanley
and showed a video of him saying he sees more potential in his
doubling small group than there is in the 15,000 or so he preaches
to each weekend.
I told the story of the
world's fastest growing
I told the story of
Movements. I showed a segment of a video from the
International Mission Board.
The cumulative affect of all these stories was
to make 2 Timothy 2.2 come alive. You can do this.
We did a little question and answer time. We
didn't do a lot of how to, just vision casting. My thought is this:
in many arenas in life, people can figure out how to do things, they
just need a vision. People can figure out how to lose weight; they
just need a vision. People can figure out how to get out of debt;
they just need a vision. People can figure out how to double their
classes, they just need a vision.
Why not gather a handful of teachers together
in your home and do a little vision casting on doubling groups. Tell
them that a group of 10 people that doubles every 18 months can
reach 1000 people in ten years. That is the amazing power of
Challenge your people to double this year. You
can do this.