Preparing to launch a church-wide campaign? Or maybe wondering if you can still pull it off with the time you have remaining? While not easy…it might be simpler than you think. You’ll need to make some strategic decisions and depending on when you’re reading this, you may need to act decisively, but you can do it.
Ready to get started? Here are Steps 1-5:
- Choose the best start date for the message series. I’ve found that there are two good options and one great option (For more, see my article When Is the Best Time to Launch a Church-Wide Campaign?). In my opinion, the very best time to launch is mid-September to early October. Many churches mistakenly use the date school’s back in as an indication of when to start the campaign. Don’t be fooled. If you want to connect people you’ve not yet connected, you need to wait until after Labor Day (see #3 for more on the calendar).
- Pick an off-the-shelf campaign that is plug-and-play. There are many great campaigns and plenty of them have sermon outlines, powerpoint slides, artwork, and marketing suggestions that are downloadable or included on a resource CD. Many are also readily available in the quantity you need and at very good prices. (Watch Wednesday’s post for a list of what I think are the 5 best options).
- Schedule a HOST recruiting message series. Pencil in a message series 7 to 9 weeks prior to the launch date that will allow 3 weeks to recruit HOSTs. There are a wide range of topics for this series that will work. Two important keys are that the best recruiter is your senior pastor and the best time to recruit is during a message. Compromise on either key and your recruiting potential will be greatly reduced. See Your Senior Pastor as Small Group Champion Leads to a Church OF Groups and Why You Must Make the HOST Ask Several Weeks in a Row for more.
- Big Idea #1: Make it even easier to host another couple or a few friends. On the heels of the 3 main weeks of HOST recruiting, add another wave by providing a “grab-and-go” pack that even a caveman could use with a few friends or even family members. You’ll find the details in Add 5 to 10% More HOSTs with This Jedi Move.
- Do NOT mention joining a group during the three HOST recruiting messages. This may seem counterintuitive, but as soon as you begin talking about being in a group (as opposed to hosting a group) you’ve recruited your last host (see #9 for when to begin recruiting members).
P.S. I’ve written on this topic before, but never quite from this angle (see also How to Sequence a Small Group Launch and How to Develop a Timeline for Your Church-Wide Campaign).