Otherwise, if a schedule conflict arises one week, which makes it impossible for the group to meet, then the LTG partners must plan ahead and decide together to meet on a different day the same week, so they don't fail to have their meeting that week.
For example, at the end of each LTG meeting, the partners should discuss a) which passage of Scripture to read for the upcoming week, and b) whether to meet on the same day as usual during the following week.
Let's say you are meeting weekly on Tuesdays for example, and at the end of the meeting one week, one of you says that you have a special program (funeral, work or other event) the following Tuesday, and won't be available on that day for the LTG meeting. You should then discuss an alternate day to meet, preferably the day before you usually meet (i.e., Monday) or the day after you usually meet (Wednesday). This way the span of time between the current meeting and the next meeting will still be around 7 days, rather than 5 days or 10 days. This helps with the Bible reading to give you around the same amount of time as usual to finish the agreed upon passage.
This kind of rescheduling will allow the group to still meet once per week without having to completely miss a week of LTG. Using this approach, there should be very few times when the group needs to miss the LTG meeting during a given week.
The LTG needs to be prioritized in the lives of all participants, too. This is very important. So the partners in the group need to do their best to schedule other events around the weekly LTG, rather than scheduling the LTG around other events, although in some rare instances it will be necessary to reschedule the LTG meeting for one or two days earlier or later than usual.
If there is an ongoing issue with one or more members of the LTG not being available to meet on the previously agreed upon day of the week, then the group needs to discuss that and decide together whether this is a matter of prioritization, or whether to decide on a new day to meet each week when they will all be available.
Lastly, the LTG members all need to practice good time management of their weekly schedules to ensure they fulfill their commitment to meet together once each week.
In summary, it is very important to maintain weekly LTG meetings each week. If the group often fails to have their weekly meeting, then the effectiveness of the LTG is significantly diminished. By implementing the methods described in this article, the group should be able to continue faithfully meeting each week without interruption for an indefinite period of time as long as they wish.
Attribution: Scripture taken from the Holy Bible NIV, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. Life Transformation Groups by Neil Cole © 2000. For more information about Life Transformations Groups and other strategic resources visit Church Multiplication Associates (CMA). Calendar image from Botanical Paper Works, used per the Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes only.
Author's Note: If you would like to become a disciple who makes disciples, please prayerfully consider enrolling in Doulos Training School, our international, distance education ministry. I also recommend reading Life Transformation Groups, How to Start an LTG, The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer, The Cost of Discipleship, and Multiplication. You are invited to visit the Home page of this blog, and also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.
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