The Value of A Great 1st Experience in Your Group

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I’ll never forget the first time that I walked into Disney World in Orlando, FL. You know you hear about how amazing it is and how it’s the happiest place on earth and so on. But you don’t really understand it until you experience it for the first time. I went really young as a kid but had no clue what was going on and don’t remember that experience. It wasn’t until I was old enough to truly experience the greatness that Disney World had to offer. From the people, to the fun and exhilarating rides, to the overpriced food and to all the dancing Disney characters. You are at a loss for words and in absolute awe of the overall experience.

Let’s think about this for a second. What if people had that same 1st experience in your Small Group? What if, because of what they experienced, they went and invited more people to your group?

Because of my 1st experience at Disney, I have recommended and referred so many people to do the same. What if your Small Group was the same way?

Now, I know what you are thinking. How can I compete with Disney World? The reality is that you can’t. But the truth is that you don’t have to. Your Group is everything that God designed it to be. Your step of faith to lead is ordained by God. Deuteronomy 31:8 says this, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” The fear that you have towards leading your group is not from God. He goes before you and He will never fail you.

There is a couple in our church that has been involved for quite a while now. But, when they first started coming to the church, they signed up for a Small Group that met on Wednesday nights. So, without knowing anyone, they showed up on campus for this Group like a blind date. With some confusion on where to go, they were happily greeted and helped through the whole process of getting to where they needed to be. They valued that 1st experience so much, that they are now serving on our Groups Leadership team helping leaders lead well and multiply life-giving Groups. They knew what that meant to them for someone to go out of their way to make sure that they had an incredible, easy 1st experience.

In reality, a great 1st experience is contagious. Not only does it make you want to come back, but it makes you want to replicate it. It breeds multiplication. And when you have healthy leaders growing healthy leaders, Groups form and grow exponentially. Not just because we are forcing numbers, but because it’s organic and happening naturally. It all roots from that 1st experience. That first time someone stepped out in faith and joined a Group. That first time someone gave their life to Christ and wanted to be a part of a life-giving community. That first time someone responded to Jesus.

So, whether you are a veteran leader, newcomer or thinking about starting your own Group, never forget the value of the 1st experience. You just might be able to change someone’s life.


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Daniel Thomas

Connections Director


Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



Individual Registration – $209.00

Team of 2 Registration (price per person) – $199.00

Team of 3 or more Registration (price per person) – $189.00

*Registration ends on Nov 8th, 2021. Walk-in registrations are not available.