What do you do to prepare for a church-wide campaign? When do you start preparing? What are the first steps that lead in the direction that maximizes your results?
These are all good questions. And along with many other questions, these are the right questions.
In today’s post, I want to give you a look behind the scenes as we prepare for this year’s fall church-wide campaign.
What’s already happened:
- Earlier this spring our lead team/teaching team chose this year’s church-wide campaign. The first thing on our mind was the why behind the what. Last year we chose a campaign that was primarily intended to strengthen our congregation, committed and core (the people who were already here). This year, we determined to go after the friends, neighbors, co-workers and family of our congregation and crowd.
- While there are some years that we choose to develop our campaign study (video and study guide) in-house, many years we use an off-the-shelf campaign (one that has already been produced by someone else). For example, last year we chose to use Saddleback’s Transformed: How God Changes You. This year we’ve chosen to use Finding Your Way Back to God. See also, Top 5 Church-Wide Campaigns for Fall 2016.
- 3 weeks ago we laid out the timeline for the entire campaign. We start by determining how long the weekend message series will run and when we need to launch the message series in order to finish the series at the right time (Thanksgiving plays a role). After determining the length of the series, we determine the necessary weeks to promote and hold a series of small group connections. This is preceded by the number of weeks we plan to recruit a wave of people “who have a couple of friends they’d like to do the study with.” See also, How to Develop a Timeline for Your Church-Wide Campaign.
- Over the last two weeks we’ve fine-tuned the budget for the campaign (promotion, leader training, materials, etc.). Part of fine-tuning the budget requires determining the bulk pricing of materials (DVDs, study guides, host bags, invitations, etc.).
- We held a meeting for our coaches that outlined the campaign and their roles. The two most important aspects we discussed were the series of small group connections and the distribution schedule for host kits, group leaders, and member purchases.
- We held a “briefing” for all of our existing small group leaders. The briefing was hosted by our groups team and featured a brief appearance by our senior pastor (who shared the “why” behind the series). This gave us an opportunity in early June to share the ideas behind the campaign and the timeline with our leaders. By sharing this information early we hoped to get more of our leaders on-board and prepared. One of the key takeaways for leaders was that “every group ought to plan to add a few new members or consider taking a small group vacation (so they could each plan to invite a few unconnected people to join them).
What’s happening right now:
Moving into the next 60 days there are several key targets:
- We are on the hunt for another wave of “launch-phase coaches.” This is our term for the group leaders we believe are potential coaches that we will invite to help us by “taking a newbie leader or two or three” under their wing. It’s an 8 to 10 week commitment (a week or two on the front end, the 6 weeks of the campaign, and a week or two on the back end to make sure their new groups land”). This is our primary strategy for recruiting new coaches. See also, How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure – 2016 Version.
- We are instigating a few select strategies designed to help our congregation and crowd get to know their neighbors and co-workers (with the hopes of greasing the skids, helping them have an easier invite to “do the study with me.”). See also, How to Build Crowd-to-Core Flow in Advance.
- I will be working with our teaching team and communication team to insure absolute clarity on the message and adherence to the predetermined strategy (for example, last year we wrote a script for every reference to the campaign (sermons, announcements, preservice slides, bulletin announcements, website references, etc.).
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