Summary: The great thing about knowing thousands have gone before you is the security of knowing you won’t make rookie mistakes. We’ve already made them, so you don’t have to repeat them!
Mistakes by Facilitators
1. Failing to read yourself. Unless you’ve successfully read previously. Nothing will sabotage a group faster than a leader who fails to keep up with the reading.
2. Not holding the participants accountable. Many will join your group specifically for the accountability. They’ve tried to read before, but failed, often because there was no accountability. At the first B90 meeting, most participants will make a commitment to God to do the readings. Holding them accountable is simply assisting them to keep this truly important commitment that they made.
3. Letting people read their “own” Bible. See Mistakes by Participants (below). In addition, by having everyone read the same Bible, you are able to refer to page numbers versus chapter and verse, making small groups run more efficiently. It also avoids distracting (for B90 purposes) discussions about the differing phraseology of various translations.
4. Skipping the small group discussion. Typically, 40-50% of a class needs to be able to talk about what they are reading in order to stay engaged in the reading. Without the small group discussion, several participants will drop out.
5. Skipping the videos. The lessons “reward” the participants by sharing insights that the participants can either agree or disagree with. The lessons help provide context to keep participants engaged in the reading.
Mistakes by Participants
1. Reading without being part of a community. Finish rates plummet for people who “go solo.”
2. Using a Bible from your bookshelf to do the reading. Unless you’ve used THAT Bible in the past and read to read all of it previously, it probably is NOT well-suited to reading through cover to cover in 90 days. The vast majority of people who succeed tell us they are very glad they chose to use the B90 Bible.
3. Adding B90 to your list of TO DOS rather than REPLACING one or more of your activities with B90. The distinction may seem subtle, but consciously choosing to watch one hour LESS of TV each day means you are REPLACING TV watching with Bible reading. Without making such a conscious decision, you are simply ADDING TO a hectic schedule, which may undercut your chances of success.
Mistakes by B90 Hosts
1. Not using the recommended resources. These resources have been used successfully across denominations throughout the United States and in 20 foreign countries. They work. If you are going to substitute materials, please be sure they can demonstrate the same success. If you question this, talk with people who’ve used the curriculum. There is a reason that they work.
2. Not recruiting small group leaders ahead of time.
3. Not having an engaged senior pastor and key lay leader.
4. Distributing materials before the first class (except to facilitators and small group leaders).