Want to connect more people this fall than ever before? Start a big wave of new small groups? Reach your community? Take your congregation on a faith-deepening journey?
Maybe you’re already thinking this way, but there is nothing more powerful than a well-conceived, well-executed church-wide campaign. Nothing else even comes close. Nothing.
Still…not every church-wide campaign delivers. For every home run there’s probably a few foul balls and a strike out with the bases loaded. Everyone wants to hit a home run. No one walks to the plate hoping to just make contact. Everyone desperately hopes to avoid striking out.
5 Keys to Avoiding a Church-Wide Campaign Disaster
- Choose a topic that connects with the people you hope to connect. This might seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you the number of church-wide campaign autopsies where the main finding is that a topic was chosen that only appealed to the usual suspects. You’ll find additional help in How to Choose the Right Church-Wide Campaign and Who Are You Trying to Connect?
- Focus the promotional spotlight on the upcoming campaign (and only the campaign). This is often at the heart of campaigns that miss. If you want to hit a home run, you cannot promote options. You can’t promote the buffet. If you want to maximize the impact of the campaign, you need to give your full attention to recruiting hosts in August and then turn around and give your full attention to challenging every member to participate in September. You’ll find additional help in How to Sequence a Small Group Launch and HOST Recruitment and the Launch Sequence.
- Keep your senior pastor in the role of small group champion. Few moves are as disastrous as allowing your senior pastor to delegate this role to you or anyone else. If you want to recruit the largest number of hosts, your pastor needs to make the host ask several times in August (in the sermon and not just an announcement). If you want to involve the largest number of people, your pastor needs to be the one challenging everyone to be part of group that’s using the curriculum that goes along with the message series. You’ll find additional help in Your Senior Pastor as Small Group Champion Leads to a Church OF Groups and 5 Things Senior Pastors Need to Know about Small Group Ministry.
- Help the largest number of new groups get off to a good start. It’s one thing to have a landslide response to the host ask. It’s another thing entirely to have a healthy percentage of your newest groups get off to a good start. Great communication is one of the biggest keys to helping the largest number of new hosts get started. Another important key is providing the right training and encouragement out of the gate. You’ll find additional help in Recruiting Additional Launch-Phase Coaches for Church-Wide Campaigns, Clarifying the Win for Launch-Phase Coaches, Host Orientations that Launch Groups, Host Orientations that Work, and Breaking: Add This Host Orientation Idea to Your Bag of Tricks.
- Sustain as many of the new groups as possible. So much energy goes into a church-wide campaign that it’s very common to just breathe a sigh of relief when the launch is over and the groups are beginning to meet. Don’t take a breath yet! Staying focused on helping your new groups continue meeting (if they choose to) by providing an easy next step into a next study really pays off when done correctly. You’ll find additional help in 5 Keys to Sustaining New Groups and What’s Next? When and How to Promote the Next Curriculum.
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