Have you taken a look at your calendar yet? Easter is very early this year. March 23. That’s important for two reasons. First, it’s only 5 weeks away! But I’m sure you knew that already. The second reason that’s important is that an early Easter leaves almost 10 weeks before summer hits…and that is huge from a “launching small groups” perspective.
Quick lesson in small group theory? The two best times to launch small groups are late September/early October and late January/early February. Why? That gives your new groups a longer run before they hit the perilous holiday season or the dog days of summer. Both of those seasons are tough on newly connected small groups. In the case of a new group, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. On the other hand, groups that have been together longer than about 12 weeks (or two six-week series) have developed enough connective tissue to be more likely to want to get back together.
What’s the moral of that story? The longer a group’s been together when they hit an extended stretch of not meeting, the more likely they are to miss their group members and to want to get started meeting again!
Enough theory. Now back to Easter.
An early Easter gives you a chance to prepare to launch some new small groups. You’ve got 5 weeks to work in planning and promotion. It also gives you 10 weeks after Easter to get groups almost to the 12 week threshold. A little bit of strategy in the last week or two and you can help them meet enough over the summer to stay connected. It’s a beautiful thing!