Counting down the days until your small group launch? Hope you're paying attention to a set of very important details! There are a few that seem to cause a misfire every time.
5 MISTAKES THAT CAUSE SMALL GROUP LAUNCHES TO MISFIRE
1. Ignoring the interests of unconnected people.
The very first step in connecting unconnected people is to pay attention to their interests and develop an understanding of the kinds of topics that would grab their attention.
Unfortunately, this is not always our habit. Instead, it is much more common to pay attention to the interests of the usual suspects, the ones who are already connected, and whose interests no longer coincide with those of unconnected people.
Regardless of the small group ministry model or system you are using, a keen and growing awareness of the interests of unconnected people will help you to choose topics and studies that will appeal to them.
2. Ignoring the concerns of unconnected people.
A related and similar mistake is to ignore the concerns of unconnected people. What may seem so everyday to you often feels foreign and unfamiliar to unconnected people. Joining a group that sits around and discusses the Bible? Meets in a strangers living room? Requires a 10 week commitment (or a year)?
When you pay attention to the concerns of unconnected people you'll begin to notice disconnects in your launch strategy that may explain why you're good at maintaining your percentage connected but not good at connecting beyond the usual suspects.
When you pay attention to the concerns of unconnected people you'll begin to notice disconnects in your launch strategy that may explain why you're good at maintaining your percentage connected but not good at connecting beyond the… Click To Tweet
3. Failing to confirm promotion details.
If you want to optimize your small group ministry launch you will learn to thoroughly discuss, script, confirm and reconfirm all promotion efforts. You'll also learn that skillful promotion of your small group ministry launch produces a sizable difference in the results.
Skillful promotion involves several elements:
- Verbal placement (optimally in sermon and announcements).
- Print: worship service program, website and social media.
- Well designed response options (sign-up forms, links to landing pages, online forms, etc.)
In my experience, no other area requires as much attention to detail as skillful promotion. Circling back one more time to reconfirm, double check, and even triple check will pay big dividends.
4. Compressing promotion into fewer weeks than ideal.
This is a huge mistake and often comes back to bite small group launches. Unconnected people are infrequent attenders. If you promote the launch on a single weekend and expect (or hope) for everyone to get the word, you will almost certainly be disappointed.
If you truly want to connect beyond the usual suspects you must run your promotion (verbal, print, website, social media, email, etc.) at least three weeks in a row.
Yes, your regular attenders who are already connected will grow tired of hearing it. You will grow weary of saying it again.
But keeping the attendance patterns of unconnected people in mind will pay off.
5. Investing too much energy adding members to existing groups.
This is a killer mistake. Prioritizing the launch of new groups is what builds thriving small group ministries. Putting your energy and effort into identifying new leaders and launching new groups will quickly make a big difference in the total number of adults connected. Spending too much energy helping existing groups "add another couple or two" will make even maintaining the same percentage connected a struggle.
Prioritizing the launch of new groups is what builds thriving small group ministries. Putting your energy and effort into identifying new leaders and launching new groups will quickly make a big difference in the total number of adults… Click To Tweet
Clearly, if you have been prioritizing restocking existing groups with new members over launching new groups it will take some effort to change direction. And it will require persistence to maintain a new course. But it will be worth it.
Need help? My newest mini-course will help! Jumpstart January gives you everything you need to maximize your January or February launch!
Image by Steve Jurvetson