ChurchGroups 5 minutes to read

Here we are six months into the pandemic, depending on where you live, and our normal day-to-day activities are still disrupted. Many parents are working from home and many kids are planning to attend online school at home. Spending more time with family and perhaps closer than ever, in a sense, because we’re all stuck in the house.  

In many ways, we have been thrown a big loopy curveball and we’ve had to find a way to knock it out of the park.

In baseball, hitting a curveball is not easy at first. A straight fastball down the pike was my favorite—you don’t have to swing hard and can crush it. A curveball, on the other hand, you have to sit on it a bit and be patient. This is kind of what life looks like for us right now. Our normal day-to-day life that was “a fastball down the pike” was easy. We got up, got the kids ready, let the dog out, got ready for the day, and made it happen. Like hitting a home run every day. Pretty easy, right? Yeah, until you’re faced with a curveball.

You may be asking yourself, Why the baseball reference when talking about Pure Desire groups? Well, during this season of life, many groups have been thrown a curveball. They tell us, ”We can meet in small groups but no more than six in a group.” Then it was no more than 10 in a group. Then it was, “Maybe you shouldn’t meet, but it’s okay to meet if you’re six feet apart and outdoors.” I don’t know about you, but it’s confusing. What I do know is that God created us for community and if there was ever a time in our lives when we needed community, it’s right now.  

So the question is: how do we launch groups, pandemic style?

The Process Hasn’t Changed

While it may feel like our world has dramatically changed, when it comes to starting groups, the process really hasn’t changed.

  1. Launch groups the same way you always have. The delivery just may be different than previous years, more online than in-person groups. 
  1. Continue to offer the groups you have offered in the past. These groups are so needed, especially as tough times continue. More and more men and women are looking for help.
  1. Continue to train and develop new leaders by having co-leaders in your groups.
  1. If meeting in person, follow the safety guidelines put in place by your city and church. This could mean wearing masks during the group. Personally, I wouldn’t let a mask keep you from finding hope and freedom.  
  1. Contact your Regional Group Advisor. Talk to them about ways to effectively navigate the struggles you are having with getting traction again. Reach out to us for support.
  1. Tune into the Pure Desire Podcast. The podcasts are filled with great information and tools. Let this continue to be your ally regardless of where or how you meet. 
  1. Stay connected with your group. This is even more crucial now that things are so different around us. Weekly phone calls are super important, especially with so much added stress and anxiety to our daily lives. We need each other.

A New Way to Launch Groups

The Sexual Integrity 101 video course!

This 8-week video course is a great on-ramp for starting groups. It’s for men and women who are interested in learning about sexual brokenness: how it impacts our lives through unwanted sexual behaviors and betrayal, and how to find freedom. This is also an excellent way to train potential group leaders! Here’s what to expect:

  • Each 40-50 minute session includes:
    • A deep-dive into the factors that contribute to unwanted sexual behaviors
    • Interviews with experts in the field of sexual health
    • Testimonies of those transformed through a safe, grace-filled process
    • Practical tools and strategies that lead to lasting health
  • A companion workbook which:
    • Follows along with each session
    • Leads you through reflection questions
    • Includes weekly exercises

If your local group has to meet online for the time being, you can show this course online to your group members or potential new group members.  

We all have been challenged the last few months, and for so many of us, the challenge is still there every day. With so much uncertainty moving forward, we only have one option: we have to learn how to hit the curveball. We have to learn to be patient. There are many great sluggers in the Major Leagues, some can’t hit the curve very well and others have perfected it. And this is what we have to do—we have to learn how to hit a different pitch this season.  

Leading groups can be difficult at times and we need to adapt. We have to continue to step up and offer groups for those impacted by sexual brokenness, learning new delivery methods and providing hope.

In this time of a pandemic, the enemy would love nothing more than to break us apart and destroy what a healthy community looks like. Don’t let the enemy take away what God has for you and for others.  

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.’ The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

Psalm 46 (NLT)

Rich Moore

Rich is the Associate Director of Men's Groups for Pure Desire and is a certified Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional (PSAP) through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). He has been involved with Pure Desire for over 20 years and is a foundational piece to helping churches start a Pure Desire group ministry. Rich is also the author of The Silent Battle: One Man's Fight for Freedom.

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