Many things contribute to the loss of momentum for discipleship groups. The Summertime lull, people going on vacations, new opportunities creating responsibilities that people didn't previously have. It doesn't take much to throw off the progress that your group has built. This can be frustrating and disheartening, causing us to question if discipleship is worth it. But God calls us to endure laboring, believing that if we don't turn back He will accomplish his fruit in time.
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58
So how can we get things back on track ? Here a a few ideas for re-igniting your d-group.
Start a rhythm of off and on times - Beginning with the Fall season, suggest to your group to commit to 8 week blocks of meeting, and 3 week blocks of rest. For some people knowing that there is an end date in sight can help them push through that "urgh, we have to meet again" feeling. They can see that a break is coming if they will stay faithful just a few more weeks. This rhythm also creates natural opportunities for people to roll out of your group either to start their own or end the awkwardness of wasting each other's time.
Add a new person - Sometimes adding a new person to the group dynamic can re-energize the group. You want to do this with wisdom, discernment, and prayer but a new person shakes things up. They are often excited and new to the accountability of spiritual disciplines, which can cause your other group members to get excited again.
Remind them of their initial commitment - Sometimes it takes having a hard face-to-face conversation of rebuke, talking to them about the importance of keeping their word. This is also a discipleship issue; the people of God ought to let their yes be yes and their no be no. Challenge them to honor the verbal commitment they gave you to start with.
Don't be afraid to move on - If all else fails don't be afraid to move on and find a new group of F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, Teachable) people to disciple. Our time is the most valuable resource we have, and we want to invest it into people who want to be invested in. If you only have one person like that in your current group, give your best to that one person. Don't not meet with that person just because the others aren't able to. If there are currently none like that in your group, after exhausting some of these ideas to get them back on track, lovingly tell them that you are going to let the group end, and then start the process of finding others.
Sharing the Gospel while sharing your Life
Pastor Heiden Ratner shares how he commits to everyday evangelism through relationships in his spheres of influence.