Week Four: Empty to Finish Alone


Group Leader Speaking to Entire Group

Thanks for joining us for this week’s run. Before we get started, I want to talk about another reason why it’s so important for all of us to #runconnected. That reason is that it’s empty for us to finish life alone.

Picture this: You set out to run your first half marathon, and you train really hard for it. You finally get to race day, and you’re ready to run at a pace that will help you finish in two hours. You tell your family and friends to meet you at the finish line two hours after the start time, so they can celebrate your accomplishment. Then the race begins, and your adrenaline starts pumping. Your training carries you through, and you find yourself running ahead of your pace. But it’s comfortable, and so you keep going. You approach the finish line and see the clock, and realize you’re going to finish under 1:50. What a great accomplishment! Except for one thing—your family and friends aren’t there! They planned to arrive two hours after the start, and you ran too fast. So you cross the finish line with no cheering, no applause, and no excitement. That’s not the way you want to finish a race. You want the celebration and encouragement and pride from your family and friends. This shows how empty it is to finish alone.

The same is true in our lives. When we get to the end of a season of life, or a major project, or even the end of our lives, we need other people beside us. Otherwise, it’s empty or even worse. One Bible character named Naomi tried to change her name to Mara, meaning bitter, when she was left alone by the deaths of her husband and sons. Living connected to others helps us avoid this kind of emptiness or bitterness. It gives us opportunities to celebrate, to remember, and to express joy. We see this later in Naomi’s story, after her daughter-in-law Ruth marries Boaz, and they have a child.

As you run today, connect with another runner in our group and tell him or her about a time when you finished something and enjoyed having someone else around at the finish. Use these stories and memories as a reminder and an encouragement to #runconnected and live connected so that we can all go farther in our lives.

[say a brief prayer. after you pray, share any administrative details like the signup sheet. Then start to run.]


At the Run

  •  Make a note at the run of any new people and of which people returned from last week.
  • Get the contact information for any new people, following the pattern of last week.
  • Ask the runners if they’d like to invite anyone else to join your group. Loyal participants will likely be eager to help the group grow.

After the Run

  • • Update your group’s Google doc by adding any new people and contact information you collect.
  • Add the following columns to your group’s Google doc:

        - Week 4 notes - Use this column to add any other details you remember. Make sure to note each person’s attendance this week.

        - Recruiter – Use this column to note which people are inviting people to join your group. This will help to indicate which runners may be willing to lead additional groups in future run club seasons. If possible, list names of the runners they’ve recruited, to show how the connections with runners in your group began.

  • Send out an email invitation to join your run group to your runners, so they can invite others to join in. 


  • Make a note of what runners say about their accomplishments and finishes this week, either in the Google doc or in another way. Use these stories to gain insight into what’s important to them and what their life experiences have been.
  • Now that you’re a month into this season of your run club, check in with runners to see what’s going well and what could go better. Gathering feedback will help you improve your group, and it will also help runners feel even more buy-in with your group.