When you’re talking about sequencing the launch of a church-wide campaign, one of the most underestimated and overlooked part of the strategy has to do with sustaining what you launch. Much like the Space Shuttle, there are things you can do to help your new groups stay in the air. In fact, there are a whole series of small steps you can take to give your newest groups the best chance of continuing.
One of the most important small steps that will help your new groups continue is promoting a next curriculum. Here’s what to do:
- Choose a next curriculum that is similar in kind to what you’re using for the church-wide campaign. If you’re using a DVD-driven study that is easy to use you’ll sustain more groups if the study you recommend that they use next is also DVD-driven and easy to use. Remember, when you recruited your new hosts, you told them it was easy to do. “Just put in the DVD!”
- Note: You need to choose the next curriculum because if you don’t, there will be someone in every group that has done a study before that is good, they loved it, and it’s just too hard for your new leader to pull off. Don’t let that happen.
- Choose ONE (1) curriculum for your newest groups. They’re not ready to choose between two or three. Much like a newborn baby…they don’t need to pick between available formulas. You choose one that is a good next step.
- Begin telling them what’s next in about week 3 or 4 of your church-wide campaign. Don’t wait for them to finish. Have each of your coaches begin talking it up. Post it on your Small Group blog or website page. Send all your leaders an email with a link to where they can see a sample clip from the DVD.
- Have your Senior Pastor hold up a copy in week 3 or 4 and say, “We’re so excited about what we’re hearing from our 40 Days small groups! We know many of you are really beginning to connect and are enjoying the time together…and some of you are beginning to ask “What’s next?” Well, here’s what we’re suggesting that you use if you continue. You can take a look at a sample out in the lobby. If you haven’t yet connected with a small group here at _________, right now is a great time to do that. Many of our newest groups are about to begin a new study. You can take a look at it out at the small group table this morning.”
- At a table in the lobby have samples of the new study and if possible, have a TV and DVD player playing a clip. Post a few very friendly folks at the table. Keep the DVD player on a segment that is really engaging. It will help your groups know what’s coming AND it will help a few more unconnected people take a step toward joining a group.
I’ve listed two of my favorite next studies right here.