As you know, there are certain windows every year when it is easier to launch new small groups. You may not have thought about it, but it is important to know that these windows are not the same.
Each of these windows is unique. Each window appeals to a different demographic slice. A different underlying motivation accompanies each window. And most importantly, different strategies will maximize the connecting potential of each window.
One of the best windows to launch new small groups is the four to six weeks right after Easter. There is often a heightened spiritual receptivity (although it is diminishing, Easter is still on the minds of many who are essentially churchless). Easter can sometimes motivate a desire for (if fleeting) recommitment. Easter, along with Christmas Eve and Mother’s Day, is a time when couples (and families) attend together.
3 Post-Easter Strategies
There are three strategies that ought to be on your radar.
- A small group connection is an event that can be scheduled one or two weekends after Easter. It can be promoted as a short-term opportunity (ideally a six week study). The right topic (one especially chosen to appeal to infrequent attenders and the spouses of frequent attenders) can make it an appealing first step out of the auditorium. Six weeks is short enough to seem reasonable and just long enough to begin to establish enough connectivity to encourage groups to decide to continue beyond the six weeks. See also, How to Launch New Groups Using a Small Group Connection, 5 Things to Remember When Planning Connecting Events and 5 Studies that Will Connect People after Easter.
- A short-term on-campus study can be scheduled two weeks after Easter. Selecting the right topic (or set of topics) will entice some to put a toe in the water. Holding the study on-campus removes the fear of showing up in a stranger’s living room. The topic itself (for example, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage) provides the motivation (as opposed to promoting the benefit of being part of a group). See also, Take Advantage of This Short-Term On-Campus Strategy.
- A take-home study that accompanies your post-Easter message series can be scheduled right after Easter. Promoted as a study that can be done with a couple friends (or simply with your family), the right topic will make this an easy next step. Many off-the-shelf studies provide almost everything you need to encourage a wave of hosts to pick up a grab-and-go kit from the table in the lobby and invite a couple friends to do the study with you. Adding the element of just-in-time coaching provided via email can help new groups add additional new members in the first couple weeks. See also, Saddleback Changed the Church-Wide Campaign Game…Again.
By the way, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day both offer additional opportunities to launch new groups and connect unconnected women and men. See also, Take Advantage of Special Days to Launch New Small Groups.