Here’s a question I got yesterday:
We are in need of some fresh ways to communicate to the four types of unconnected people as we discuss small groups all the time. Do you have any blogs (or could you create a blog) with literal scripts of ways to promote small groups?
There’s a great question in those two sentences. It’s slightly different than the reader expressed. I’d put it this way:
Are there some one-size-fits-all ways we can get the attention of the four types of unconnected people?
And the answer to that, I believe, is “no.” There are definitely some things we can do to better understand the particular slice (or slices) of unconnected people in our churches…but there really isn’t a script that would work everywhere.
Here are four things to think about and talk about on your team:
- If you want to connect unconnected people you have to know them. As long as they remain a faceless category they will be a mystery. When great design companies are creating a new product or service they go to great lengths to truly understand and know the customers the product is being designed for. They spend time with them. They watch them use the product. Sometimes they actually move in with the customer! If we want to connect unconnected people we must actually know them. See also, Learn to Empathize with Your End User and 5 Things You Need to Know about Unconnected People.
- If you want to connect unconnected people you have to design the first step with them in mind. This is incredibly important for us to understand. What the core and committed and congregation do without thinking, the crowd automatically rejects as too hard or too inconvenient or just plain boring. When the first step is designed with unconnected people in mind it will be easy, obvious and strategic. It will be at a convenient time, in a room they already know about, on a topic they actually care about and it will offer childcare. See also, How Would You Rate the First Steps out of Your Auditorium? and 5 Key Ingredients that Motivate a First Step into Community.
- If you want to connect unconnected people you will make the ask with them in mind. Language is so important. How you craft the ask is critically important and if you’re not already wordsmithing, you need to begin. As you’re crafting the invitation, whether it will be in your pastor’s message, a verbal announcement, an email or on your website, pay careful attention to how it will be received by your target. They care about things like convenience, relevance, and length of commitment. See also, Design Your Connection Strategy with Unconnected People in Mind.
- If you want to connect unconnected people you will have to creatively make the ask on a regular basis. Remember, unconnected people are almost always infrequent attenders. They are not there every week and will only occasionally be there the week of your annual push for small groups. If you’re not talking about connecting all the time you cannot expect to connect them.
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