Why set up a trial session
of a Just Do It Group?
A Just Do It Group is a tool to help people make the positive difference they want to make in their everyday worlds.
A trial Just Do It session with 2-3 friends or family members lets you see if the tool works for you. Then you decide whether to keep going for a few more sessions.
The trial session is low risk, taking an hour or less. It is non-threatening because you know the others in the group. You are not promising anything to anybody ahead of time. Just do it and see how it goes.
Making the world better, starting with your own everyday world
Just Do It Groups are for people who want to make the world better. The groups try to reduce two shortages that cause lots of the pain in our messed up world:
1) Not enough people listening to God about what he wants them to do next
2) Not enough people cheering for other people who are doing that kind of listening
In a Just Do It group we listen for what God's voice is telling us to do this week to prevent more pain in our worlds and to help our friends deal with the pains they already have. God has masterminded a campaign to connect, heal, and bless the world, and if we listen we hear his voice directing us into our individual assignments in that.
In a Just Do It session we listen for God's voice through a short Bible reading, through his Spirit putting things into our minds, and through our discussion. After the meeting we keep praying for each other and, if possible, cheering each other on as we “just do” whatever we heard God directing us to do.
If we keep using the Just Do It method, we discover a new quality of life. As one participant recently put it, “This is the best hour of my week.” It's great when we feel connected to God's ancient and current campaign to save the world from itself!
So how would I set up a trial Just Do It session?
If you are not sure who to invite, read the "Guide" first. Then think of someone you feel safe trying this with, maybe someone you just naturally are cheering for in their life and someone you want cheering for you as you discover what God is putting into you to do.
Don't overthink it. Focus on exactly one goal of the trial session--deciding whether to meet again. That will depend on how much the Just Do It method helps you and the others in the group hear from God about what he wants you to do next.
If the method looks promising, you may decide to keep going for a month or so in order to get used to it. Note that the leadership will rotate if you do that. Not everything depends on you. After the month, if it is really working, you may decide to split up and start other groups, but we will get to that later. (Jump ahead here to preview the instructions for the "go viral" week)
For today there is just one question: Is God nudging you toward setting up one trial session of a Just Do It Group? Is it the right thing for you to do? If it is, you have time for it. Just do it! If it reduces the pain in the world even a little bit, it will be worth it.
FAQs (for those who are either careful or overthinking)
Questions about whether a trial session would be worthwhile
Procedural questions about on-going groups
Is this another Bible study group?
Short answer: no, it’s not a Bible study even though it involves reading and discussing the Bible. A typical “Bible study” is drastically different than the Just Do It method in several ways:
1) the core activities in a Bible study are mental activities (learning and comprehending)
2) the focus is far more on what people get out of the study than what they do as a result
3) applying the Bible is something I do or the group leader does for me, not something God does for me
4) the size of the group is 5-15 if it is a “small group” and may be much larger if it is in a classroom setting
5) failure means the group peters out; success means it continues, maybe for years; no one expects it to replicate itself
The Just Do It method goes directly against all five of these things. It is so different that many people who are turned off by typical Bible study groups may love a Just Do It group. People who fit easily into typical Bible study groups may also like Just Do It groups, but they will have to make some serious adjustments and it may not be easy.
Why start a Just Do It Group if I’m already in a Bible study?
Most people who are in Bible studies are not making disciples in any regular way. They may want to but it’s not happening. Just Do It Groups open up a different way for them to think about disciple-making and to get going in it.
We define disciples as people who 1) listen to God about what he wants them to do next as part of his campaign to save the world from itself, and 2) cheer other people on as they do that kind of listening. Just Do It Groups are structured ways to promote listening and cheering. People who lead others to listen better and cheer more are “making disciples,” whether or not they are “saving the lost.”
What is the biblical basis for Just Do It Groups?
The whole Bible is the basis. A few sample texts:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1.22
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15.8
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . Matthew 28.18-19
For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. Hebrews 4.2
What “campaign” are we talking about in the Just Do It prayers? I don’t see “campaign” in the Bible.
In technical theological language, the campaign is the “Missio Dei” (Mission of God), but that term is not in the Bible either. The campaign concept is hiding in plain sight in the Bible from start to finish. It lies right beneath some of the most basic and familiar words:
God’s “will” is the intention that drives his campaign
God’s “plan” includes his campaign goal to connect, heal, and bless the world and his campaign strategy to do it through the descendants of Abraham
God’s “Messiah” is the one anointed to spearhead the campaign
God’s “Spirit” empowers his people to keep carrying out his campaign
God’s “judgment” is what happens to people who set themselves up in opposition to his campaign
Revelation 21 and 22 tell us what the world will look like when the campaign is victorious
The gospels all make more sense if we start with the assumption that Jesus came to spearhead an awareness campaign, proclaiming the arrival of God’s reign on earth. That was his campaign goal, and he stayed on message throughout his campaign. He had an explicit campaign strategy, a campaign team, and a national popular following. He was killed by people determined to stop him and his campaign because it looked like a national security threat to them. Once we start thinking of Jesus in campaign terms, everything fits.
How much preparation is required for leader and participants?
The leader, who is a different person each week, reads through the two-page leader’s guide (either the trial session or the regular session) and makes sure that the list of “Just-Do-Its” from the previous week and the reference for the Bible verses for the current week are available during the session. 5-10 minutes of prep.
There is no study guide for participants. The participants only “prepare” by doing their “Just-Do-Its” from the previous week and by praying for the others during the week about their “Just-Do-Its”. They might also cheer them on during the week with a message or call.
What if people miss a session?
No problem. Each session can be handled in a stand-alone way. The series of Bible passages do all relate to one topic but they do not build on each other like layers of a pyramid. When people miss a week, they may opt to read the passage they missed on their own and send their “Just-Do-It” to the group, but if that does not work out, they should still come to the next session confident that others will cheer them on and they won’t be “behind” by a week.
How many weeks do the groups meet before dividing or stopping?
It depends. Groups may set their own length, such as 1, 2, or 3 months, or they may follow the online schedule.
If they follow the online schedule, they will find that in 2022 the seven topical “seasons” last for 9, 5, 7, 10, 9, 6, and 6 weeks in that order. It’s complicated because the times allocated to a topic often are connected to a particular holiday, as Pentecost is connected to the topic of power and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) to the topic of mercy. Some of these holidays like Easter slide around our calendar in relation to the moon, so some season lengths change by up to three weeks from year to year.