Note: This post was published in 2016. The execution principles are timeless.
And...we're off. We're now two weekends into our fall launch.
The way our strategy is designed we will focus exclusively on casting vision for the series (Finding Your Way Back to God) and recruiting hosts for the first three weekends. By hosts, we mean people who respond to the specially designed ask: "If you have a couple friends you'd like to do the study with... (i.e., the study that goes along with the series)." See also, Why You Must Make the HOST Ask Three Weekends in a Row and Saddleback Changed the Church-Wide Campaign Game...Again.
So far, our results are underwhelming. We saw improvement in the second weekend as we tightened up the ask (both our service host and teaching pastor pulled closer to the script) and more effectively cast vision for the series (the 'why'). But there remains room for further improvement.
And we will continue to tweak and massage the launch until we work it into the right language, the right feel.
Which brings me to a short, but critical, explanation of the ingredients that go into a well executed small group launch.
4 Essentials of Execution:
- Plan. The best planning clarifies the win, makes clear what you are trying to do and removes the guesswork. Paint the bullseye before you shoot the arrow. For me, planning includes writing the script for the specific lines I want our communicators to us.
- Rehearse. Just prior to pulling the trigger it is a good idea to remind all players about their lines. Ideally, this is not improv. You think about this nearly year-round. Many of the other players (i.e., your senior pastor, your communication director, etc.) only think about a small group launch or church-wide campaign when it is rolling.
- Evaluate. Every move should be evaluated immediately (i.e., if you have two services you should be evaluating immediately after the first service). "How close was that to the script?" "Was that really what we planned?" "What were the results from that 'ask'?" Remember, "Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing." If you don't like the results from the first service...don't assume the results were a fluke. They were generated by the execution of your design (or a deviation from the design).
- Adjust. If the results you achieve are not what you hoped for or expect, you must adjust what you are doing. As Albert Einstein shrewdly noted, "The definition of insanity is to do the same thing again and again and expect different results." If you want different results, you must adjust the execution of your strategy.
We have our third move next weekend. I'll keep you posted as we adjust (in hopes of a greater response, so we can connect a larger number of unconnected people).
- Orchestrate and Evaluate Everything
- How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign
- How to Design, Build and Sustain a Thriving Small Group Ministry
Image by Jeff Archer