This year we produced Bring Life, a 7 week church-wide campaign at Canyon Ridge. We produced our own video content and also wrote the study guide and a 40 day devotional (we combined the two in a 160 page book).
It wasn’t the first campaign we’ve produced. We produced campaigns in 2012 and 2013 (and Canyon Ridge already had a couple under their belt prior to my arrival). In addition, I’ve produced campaigns at several churches prior to joining the team here.
It’s against that backdrop that this year’s learnings stand out. And what I learned may not seem significant, but I think 2017 will turn out to be the fork in the road I’ve been watching for.
2017 Learnings from Bring Life:
The most powerful learning has to do with two questions that were inserted into the rhythm of expected, usual suspect questions in the small group Bible study. I’ve been writing Bible studies for 20 years. It’s not the part of my role that I enjoy but I’m a student and I’ve learned a lot over the years.
This year we inserted a couple questions that were versions of Discovery Bible Study questions. I began learning about Discovery Bible Study when I met a former staff member from Canyon Ridge now serving in Asia. This style of Bible study is the essence of his strategy. And it has a fascinating wrinkle that when inserted into the kind of study I’m used to writing (i.e., different things happen).
The first question we added was simply the inclusion of an “I will” statement to be written at the end of each Bible study session.
Example from session one of Bring Life
Here are the last two questions from session one:
Q8: What will you do this week to begin to use your gifts, skills, interests and abilities at Canyon Ridge?
Don’t end your meeting without making a plan and commitment for how you will use your gifts and talents regularly with other believers.
Complete this sentence: To be a life-bringer at church, I will __________________________________________________________________
The second question we added was a check-in question each week that asked for participants to report in on how they did with their “I will” statement from the week before.
Example from session two of Bring Life
Here is the first question from session two:
Q1: Did you do what you committed to do last week? How did it go? Did you learn anything?
Other learnings include the following:
The importance of developing and providing digital versions of both video and print content. The number of group leaders and hosts picking up their materials already streaming video content as the norm was significant. While not a clear majority, it was noticeably increased over previous years,
In addition, there were many requests for a digital version of the study guide and devotional.
Although we did upload the video content to our RightNow Media account (so our groups and hosts could stream it, we also added the video segments and group study guide to a newly created page on the Canyon Ridge website. This addition made it easier for online campus participants around the world to access much of the content.
Keeping our messaging crisp is a never ending task during campaign season. We did a great job beginning weekend promotion of Bring Life back in June and July (primarily as mentions in weekend messages).
I allowed a lack of focus by not enforcing single message clarity beginning in August. As you know if you follow my church-wide campaign strategy, I encourage careful promotion of one strategic move each weekend beginning in August (i.e., the first three weekends focusing on recruiting HOSTs and the next three weekends focusing on recruiting small group connection signups).
This very big strategic mistakes led to smaller numbers than hoped for in both HOST signup and small group connection signups.