Start on time.

That may sound trivial, or persnickety, or overly formal for a group. Whatever. Start on time.

“But, if we were to do that, half our group isn’t there and they would miss it.” Start on time. One of the reasons people show up late to church events is the leadership is in the habit of starting late. We reward the people who are late by accommodating their lateness. We punish the people who are on time by not starting on time.

I would not have thought this was any big deal if it were not for my wife. She does training with me. She trains children and preschool workers, while I train adult workers. She has a talk called K.I.D.T.E.A.C.H. The “A” in this acrostic “Arrive early.” When she first told me that I thought it was a little trivial. But, based on the feedback she has gotten from church leaders across the country, I have come to see the importance of bringing this up. She has told me story after story after story of people who have come up to her after conferences and thanked her for bringing the time issue up. “It is a real problem around here. Teachers don’t show up on time.”

All of the things we talked about in the last chapter can only happen if we are there on time–early in fact. Often visitors are nervous about being able to find their way so they show up early. It is pretty bad if they show up before the people who are in charge. Show up early. Start on time.

Excerpt from Good Questions Have Small Groups Talking: the book.