5 Things to Do in August (that will launch more groups in September)

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What’s there to do in August? You might think it’s the dog days of summer, but it’s really the calm before the storm! And there are some pretty important things to do that if you do them…you will reap a bigger harvest.


First, give your launch sequence a last look for exponential tweaks.

When you think about it, there are many things that are still in play, still "about to happen" in your launch sequence. Every detail should be given a once-over with attention to the minute details that make exponential differences.

A few examples of last minute exponential tweaks might be

  • fine-tuning the church-wide email content to include an exponential element (i.e., "Why not bring a friend with you to the Small Group Connection),
  • adding a line to the auto-responder email confirming Connection registration (i.e., "Make plans now to bring a friend with you to the Connection!"), and
  • developing an FAQ for the Connection and making it available at the Small Group kiosk AND online.

With only a few weeks until the actual launch, there is still time to look for exponential tweaks.

Second, there’s still time to recruit a few more launch-phase coaches 

First, there’s still time to recruit a few more launch-phase coaches (that will help your new groups get off to a great start). It’s not hard to do. It takes a phone call, a cup of coffee and 30 minutes.

At its simplest, recruiting a launch-phase coach is as simple as thinking through your experienced small group leaders, thinking about which of them might have the right stuff to pass along to a few newbie leaders, and making the ask.

See also, Skill Training: How to Recruit a Potential Small Group Coach.

Third, confirm the details for the “ask” (to be made during the messages in the upcoming weeks).

Details are everything. As you approach the weekend where you’ll be recruiting HOSTs or recruiting sign-ups for a small group connecting event, circle back and reconfirm that the language to be used is exactly right.

As you will remember, I believe the best practice is for your senior pastor (almost always the most influential person in your church) to make the ask in the message several weekends in a row. Ideally, it will be carefully worded and invite interested HOSTs or members to respond.

A carefully worded invitation is critical. It is very common for me to meet in person with my senior pastor and hand over a written paragraph for them to look at while we talk. I will also email them the same couple sentences.

See also, How to Make the HOST ASK: The 2012 Version and Saddleback Changed the Church-Wide Campaign Game…Again.

Fourth, be sure you’ve communicated throughly with your existing leaders and coaches.

Whether you’re running a church-wide campaign, a small group connection or any other group starting strategy, you’ll definitely want all of your existing group leaders and coaches to fully know the scoop.

Be sure you’ve let them know everything they need to know and communicate with their members. A best practice is to communicate several ways:

  • Invite them to a briefing (we often do our in between services).
  • Send them an email with everything they need to know.
  • Ask your coaches to personally reach out to every leader with the latest info.

See also, 6 Communication Mistakes that Limit Ministry Effectiveness.

Finally, look for an exponential opportunity in every step.

No matter what aspect you’re examining, look for a way to exponentially supersize it. For example, when you hold your leader briefing, ask every leader to bring someone with them who helps make the group happen.

When you find ways (even small ways) to exponentially supersize the outcome, they will add up and you’ll have a better outcome.

Here are a few more examples:

  1. When you’re writing the email to send to people who have signed up for the connection, encourage them to bring a friend they’d like to be in a group with to the connection.
  2. When you’re writing the ask for your senior pastor, consider adding this line: “Even if you’re already in a group, you might want to invite a couple friends to do the study with you.”
  3. When you’re thinking through your experienced small group leaders in search of a few more coaching candidates, also think about the people in the groups who may not be leading but actually should be (you know who I’m talking about). They will often make great launch-phase coaches.

See also, This Little Tweak Will 10x Your Coaching Structure.

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