You Can Do This!

A PRIVATE "Double Dinner" may be your key to getting teachers to catch the vision for doubling.

Sometimes accidents create inventions.

Perhaps you 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 super strong.

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. http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/story031.htm

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 important people.
  • It was private. People like private things.
  • It was personal. No mail merged letters. Personal phone calls followed up by one personal email. People like personal.
  • 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 town.

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: http://www.joshhunt.com/Advance1.mp3

Here is a summary of what I presented:

Introduction:

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

Body

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 men:

And the faithful men reproduce into some others:

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 church.

I told the story of Church Planting Movements.  I showed a segment of a video from the International Mission Board. http://www.imb.org/cpm/

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 doubling groups.

Challenge your people to double this year. You can do this.