August 16, 2011

Conduct A Premortem

Postmortem - After death. Depressing, huh. If you watch enough crime shows you know that the postmortem exam is done to determine the cause of death. Gary Klein, in his book "Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions", says that conducting Premortems are a much better idea. In fact, they can keep you from ever having to fool with wondering about the cause of death! In his new book, "Enchantment", Guy Kawasaki (former 'Chief Evangelist' at Apple) references Klein's idea and explains that the "goal of premortems is to prevent the potential problems in order to increase the likelihood of success". I can think of no better place to put this into practice than in your small group!

If you're a group leader, and you've been following along in this series of posts [The Day the Small Group Died], what a great preemptive tool for you to use to head off those pesky small group killers. Here's how you can put this to work for you and your group:
  • As you begin to meet, talk very realistically with your group about the potential hurdles, distractions, or reasons why your group might begin to decline.
  • Go further with it: Ask each group member to prayerfully identify some things that might begin to cause them to be inconsistent or unfaithful to their commitment to the group.
  • As you identify these potential "killers", determine as a missional community to prayerfully watch for these distractors and to have the wisdom to avoid them at all costs.
  • You can also meet with other group leaders to collectively conduct premortems, giving each other encouragement and accountability to defend your group from declining, imploding, or dying!
When we learn that certain things cause cancer, you'd think that everyone would quit doing those things. But we know differently. There are still countless millions of people smoking cigarettes as we speak. But you - as a leader with conviction for your calling and love for your people - know better. We can identify the issues ahead of time, head them off at the pass, and raise the God-given potential of the community He has placed us in. Don't ever face The Day the Small Group Died! Fight for biblical community!

What are some other ways you could conduct Premortems?

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