We love to work with groups of not-yet-believers, and we've learned many lessons along the way–mostly from our own mistakes. Here are a few of them:
- We've taken mature believers with us. Too often, those who have been Christians for a while think that a group of young believers or not-yet-Christians will benefit from their superior knowledge–and proceed to dispense that knowledge liberally. That will kill a group of people who are on the journey of getting to know Jesus. They don't want to be made to feel inferior or that they somehow haven't acquired the wisdom that others have. If you take mature believers with you, make sure they understand it's important they keep quiet. When we worked with Lisa, we left a wonderful mature couple behind when we left, but they understood that they were not there to lead, but as a stable force to help guide things from the background.
- We stayed too long and bred a dependence on the outsider. We had a wonderful group in the low-income housing projects. God was doing so much there that we stayed beyond our usefulness. When we finally left, after around a year, the people there were devastated. Since that time, we have always let groups know we will only be there a few months, and made sure that one of them leads right from the start.