Well do you? Have your ducks in a row? It’s not too late to do the planning that will prepare your church for a powerful fall ministry season…but now is the time.
You might be thinking church-wide campaign, but you certainly don’t have to be. There are a number of other strategies that will still launch a wave of new small groups. See also, Top 10 Ways to Launch New Small Groups.
Here are five things you should be doing:
Start with the end in mind
This is a really, really big point. In fact, I’ve begun saying “start with perfect and work backward.” When you’re looking ahead you should be envisioning all the elements you’d like to have in place. For example, think way beyond the number of groups you’d like to launch and include other aspects of what it will look like.
- Who you’d like to connect
- Next steps you want people to take
- Service opportunities that will impact your community
Pull out a calendar and work backward
Pull out a calendar and work backward from the launch date to include all of the steps. For example, if you’re planning a church-wide campaign you should know the end of September or beginning of October is the best time to launch. Once you’ve plugged in your launch date you can work back from there, plugging in promotion, orientations, host recruitment, coach recruitment and series planning.
Choose a study that connects the people you hope to connect
This is an extremely important step! We all understand that if you want to satisfy the taste buds of people who’re craving a savory, mouth-watering steak…you need to serve a steak! And if you want to entice people who love the spicy heat of a chile relleno…you need to serve Mexican food. In the same way, the exact same way, if you want to connect unconnected people, you need to choose a study that will interest them! See also, Does Your Topic Connect with Your True Customer?
Identify and recruit a team of launch-phase coaches
One of the best early steps you can take is to make a list of some current small group leaders that could easily help a newbie get off to a great start…and invite them to help start a new group or two this fall! Almost nothing else has as much potential as connecting a new leader with an experienced veteran. Your new leaders feel supported and more confident. Veterans get to use their experience and might even get that sense of fulfillment that is so essential in a coach who commits to the long run. Note: My mini-course, How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure explains how to do this successfully.
Launch a get-to-know-your-neighbor initiative
One of the most important early steps you can take is to give your members some ideas that will help them get to know their neighbors over the summer. If you want to connect way beyond the usual suspects, launching a series on a topic that unconnected people care about makes it easy to invite neighbors…provided your members know their neighbors! (see my Top 10 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors This Summer for more information)
Can I Help You?
There are two ways I can help you get your ducks in a row:
- I regularly coach churches on preparing for church-wide campaigns and growth initiatives. While I am sometimes available for an onsite consultation, I can also schedule a series of video conference calls to guide your team through the process. Email Me for more information.
- My newest mini-course, How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign is designed to help your team learn at their own pace and at a very reasonable price.
Image by Matthias Liffers