When it comes to a great small group, we shouldn't try to balance the three core patterns of connecting, changing, and cultivating. Instead, we should try to harmonize them and avoid letting one pattern become the obsession of the group that swamps all the others.
A group that is obsessed with connecting might start strong but end with a fizzle. "Our group was going great," my friend Nick said. "All three guys faithfully showed up week after week. And then one by one, guys started missing. Now all three say they don't have time for it anymore. What went wrong?"
I asked Nick to describe their meetings. "We met at 6:30 every Thursday at the Waffle House for an hour or so." He went on: "We talked about sports, politics, family, work. Whatever the guys had on their minds."
Nick meant well, but the connecting pattern alone will not hold a group together for long. Unless the group becomes best of friends, a weekly commitment isn't worth the effort. I suggested that ...1