Summary: The FACTS model allows groups to take stock of where they’re at in their development as they journey through the phases of freedom, alignment, congruence, truth and spirit.
I love frameworks. Being predominantly left-brained, I like how they guide me in thinking about subjects. They give structure and process to things that can be more difficult to think through, making it easier to see how everything relates together into a cohesive whole. They also can provide a way to communicate what to expect and diagnose how things are going. They give you something tangible to refer to when you’re looking at measuring how you’re progressing relative to what you hope to accomplish.
In the book The Art of Facilitation, Dale Hunter provides us with a framework for group development that can be referenced to help small groups do these things. Take a look at the visual model he provides on the right. It outlines a spiral process that all groups go through as they grow together.
Why a spiral? Because this process is not one that’s ever completed. As groups grow and change, they’ll find themselves operating in these stages at various seasons of their existence. What this framework does is allow groups to take stock of where they are at in the process, as well as where they might be getting stuck and why.
If you’re a part of a small group or Kingdom community, this can help you better understand why your group may be continuously having trouble getting through one of the phases. Or maybe why you lose people every time you’re in a particular phase. Or maybe why a group you were a part of in the past now ceases to exist. Or maybe why you yourself chose to leave a particular group.
In all of these scenarios, this framework (the FACTS model) should help you understand them better. Let’s take a short walk through each of these 5 phases. As you go through them, remember that these phases aren’t strictly linear; meaning you don’t necessarily start one when another ends. They can be overlapping. But this is generally the process groups must go through if they hope to grow and thrive.