Preparing for your next church-wide campaign? What will you call a win? Will you declare what a win will look like in advance…and then aim for that? Or like the well-known Brother Juniper cartoon, will you just shoot an arrow into the fence and draw the bullseye afterward?
Clarifying the win, being clear about what you will call success, before you begin is an important step in launching a truly successful church-wide campaign. Without this step all of your effort really could be in vain. And no one wants that!
5 keys to clarifying the win for a successful campaign:
Determine in advance who you will connect. Don’t just say “as many as possible.” That really is a cop out and misses the main chance for impact. Declaring in advance who you are trying to connect forces you to choose a topic and design a strategy that will connect that kind of person. See also, How to Choose the Right Church-Wide Campaign Topic.
Determine how many new small groups you will launch. Don’t just say “as many as possible.” Be aware that determining who you will connect and choosing a topic with them in mind will also determine who who will say “yes” to hosting a new small group. Determining how many you will launch plays a role in how you will recruit hosts and who can lead a group. When you make this declaration you put cards on the table that determine the seriousness of your intent. See also, Your Church-Wide Campaign Topic Determines Two Huge Outcomes, Small Group Leaders: Qualifications, Hoops and Lowering the Bar, and Crowd-Friendly Leader Qualification.
Determine the percentage of your new groups you expect to sustain. It’s one thing to have many respond to the HOST ask. It’s one thing to have many potential hosts attend an orientation. It’s one thing to launch new groups. It’s a completely different thing to sustain new groups into their second or third curriculum. Determining in advance what percentage you will sustain should influence how you will support and resource your newest leaders. See also, 5 Keys to Sustaining New Small Groups and Skill Training: 6 Keys to Keeping Your New Group Going.
Determine what action steps will indicate movement in the right direction. This is an important key to a successful church-wide campaign. Hopefully you want to do more than simply connect people in groups. Hopefully your aim is to help everyone you connect take a step or two in following Jesus. What would be the action steps you could build in and measure that would make it easy to spot a win?
- Attending a service as a group in week 6
- Serving together
- Volunteering for a ministry test-drive
- Sustaining into the follow up curriculum
You can make your own list of action steps that will indicate movement. Doing that before you begin will force your team to choose the right curriculum, to write messages with great takeaways, etc. See also, Next Steps for Everyone…and First Steps for Their Friends.
Determine how this campaign will be remembered. Determining how this campaign will be remembered might seem the most vague and foggy. It might be the most important. Wrestling with how your campaign will be remembered forces you to build in elements that are memorable.
I often tell senior pastors that if you want everyone to participate, you need to be able to say, “You don’t want to get into November and say, ‘I wish I had joined a small group.’” I also tell pastors to tell their congregation, “We’re coming into a season as a church that we’ll still be talking about 1o years from now.”
The church-wide campaigns that change the trajectories of churches don’t happen every day. And they don’t just happen! Acting on these 5 keys will help your church have the kind of campaign you’d like to have.
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