I eat, breath,
think, sleep dream this stuff: doubling.
Doubling and Dieting
It is my passion because it will result in
incredible outcomes: a group of 10 can reach a 1000 in 10 years by doubling
every 18 months.
It is my passion because it is possible: it
means for an average size group, going from 10 to 14 in a year.
It is my passion; I think about it all the
I am also thinking a lot about dieting these
I had a routine medical exam late last year.
They discovered that my cholesterol was high. So, this year I have
decided to go on a diet. I have lost about 20 pounds so far. I find
myself thinking about it and talking about it a lot. Dieting and
doubling, I find myself thinking of both of these things a lot. As
it turns out, there are considerable similarities.
It is not rocket science
It is not rocket science to lose weight: I can
summarize it in two words: diet and exercise. Need a little more
information: eat less and move your body more.
Similarly, it isn't rocket science to double a
class every two years or less. The first two of the five TIGER
points will get you well on your way: Teach a half-way decent lesson
and invite every member and every prospect to every fellowship every
Just do it! -- motivation will come later
This year, I have been asking the question,
"Why isn't this happening already? Why doesn't it happen all the
time?" I have yet to have someone say: "I don't know how. It is too
hard to figure out. I tried and I just could not figure out how to
More commonly, people say things like this.
(I don't know that I would have accused people of these things; I am
just reporting what I have heard.)
- We are not motivated
- We are not committed
- We don't want to get outsiders to come;
not badly enough.
- We are lazy
What people all across America are telling me
is, "We could do this if we were motivated; we just are not
motivated." Just like people say all the time, "I could lose weight
if I were motivated. I know how. I just can't get motivated."
Here is the secret of successful dieters:
motivation comes as a result, not a cause. Dieting calls for good
old fashioned will power. You force yourself through hook or crook
to stay on the diet for a time. Then, you watch for results. When
you see results, you will have all the motivation you need. If you
wait for motivation to come first, you will be waiting a long time.
Here is the formula:
Action leads to results
Results lead to motivation
Motivation leads to more results.
You must take action first. Here is what I
have recommend. Make a three month commitment to give Friday nights
to Jesus every single Friday night. This is more than you may want
to do in the long run, but it will almost guarantee you will get
Measure carefully/ celebrate victories
I get on the scale every day. Every day.
Feedback is the breakfast of champions. If you are not measuring
your success, you are likely not having any success. If you don't
want to get on the scale, there is a reason why--you know in your
heart you have not been eating right and exercising. When you have
been eating right, you want to get on the scale.
Getting on the scale alone will tend to cause
you to lose weight. If I can force myself to get on the scale every
day, the awareness will create a little motivation that will tend to
cause me to eat right.
Doublers need a score keeping mechanism. They
need a regular score keeping mechanism. They need to get on the
scale every week and see how this week's attendance compares with
A lot of churches have a one-page Sunday
School report sent to their teachers each week. Perhaps e-mails is a
better medium in this generation. In this report, you could include
a brief summary of how each class did this week and this month
compared with last semester.
Small victories are big
The great sin of novice dieters is a
misconception of how quickly they are going to be able to take the
pounds off. Novice dieters fully expect they are going to get on the
scale every day and see a pound or two evaporate. One or two pounds
a week is more realistic.
One answer to the question, "Why isn't it
happening already?" is this: it is harder than you think to double.
From one perspective, it means going from 10 to 14 in a year. Sound
easy? Try it. It is more difficult than it looks.
Find a buddy
The Bible says,
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up! Eccles. 4:9-10 [NIV]
My wife and I have found much motivation in
Some information helps
Even though it is not rocket science, still,
some information helps. We got a little diet program for the Palm
that lists thousands of food items and gives their calories. It is
cool. It lists actual entrees at popular restaurants. You can look
up the Salmon at Applebee's and compare it against the Tilapia.
I found in looking up calorie numbers for
foods every day that my intuition was sometimes right, but often
wrong. Some real information helps. I also read through a couple of
diet books just to get me better informed about dieting and health.
If you aspire to double your class, I'd
encourage you to read the book, go through the videos.
Get the whole double bundle at a 60% discount to get all the
information you need about how to double.
In the long run, you have to learn to love it
Discipline is over-rated. Forcing yourself to
eat what you hate to eat can get you through for a while, but
eventually, you have to discover foods that you love to eat that are
healthy for you. You have to learn to love the feeling of eating
healthfully and enjoy the results that come from it.
In the long run, you are going to learn to
love giving Friday nights to Jesus or you won't keep it up over the
long haul. Someone said to me last night, "This is going to be soooo
hard for me." Hard? How hard could it be? We are talking about
having some friends over to play cards, watch a movie, or eat pizza.
There are Christian brothers world-wide who are called upon to
suffer, be jailed or lose their lives because of their commitment to
Christ. We are talking about having a party and inviting some people
who are far from God to the party. How hard can it be?
Sunday School teachers that are doubling are
some of the happiest people in the world. It is not a chore, not a
burden. It is a joy. But, you have to learn to love it or you won't
stay with it over the long haul.
We recently had the privilege of hosting Josh Hunt for our mid
winter Sunday Morning Bible Study leadership conference. The
emphasis on investing and building relationships is the key to
reaching our society today. Fellowship is premium in a world where
we face an epidemic of loneliness. People are looking for more than
a "friendly" church. They want a place where they can grow and
develop lasting relationships that will assist them in building a
biblical foundation for life. If you have not had the opportunity to
have Josh Hunt in your church or attend one of his conferences, make
plans to involve your leadership. His concepts will make a
difference in your thinking about how simple it really is to reach
out to people.
Charles F. Stanley
Senior Pastor First Baptist Church Atlanta
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