All of us come into the fall ministry season with hopes of starting new groups and connecting more of our people into groups (where they can be encouraged, cared for, loved, and challenged).
Last week we talked about three last minute ideas that will launch more groups. Today, I want to give you three ideas that will connect more people this fall. I’d also love to hear your ideas! Use the comment section at the end of the post to add your ideas.
- Consider lowering the bar in terms of who can host a group. Still requiring your small group leaders to be members…and meet the qualifications of an elder? Consider making it easier to say “yes” to hosting a short-term group while establishing rails to manage the risks. For example, you might encourage everyone to pick up a grab-and-go kit and invite another couple, a few friends, or extended family but require membership to be listed on the website as an open group. Are there some risks? Absolutely…but you’re structured to add more hosts who will primarily fill their groups with their own friends, neighbors, co-workers and family.
- Wait to introduce joining a group until the very last minute. This is a very important but under-appreciated concept. Every weekend that you only talk about hosting a group and ask for host volunteers expands the number of people who may say “yes.” Remember, your members and attendees aren’t there every week. In addition, although some people will respond to the first ask, others will want to go home and talk about it and even pray about it before they say “yes.” On the flip side, you must understand that as soon as you begin talking about being in a group, some potential hosts will join a group instead of stepping up to open their homes.
- Make it easy for group members to invite friends to their new group. This is accomplished several ways. First, consider encouraging new groups to begin with a more social get-together. At the same time, build a simple extra phrase into the “join us on Thursday the 22nd for dessert and coffee.” Adding “and if you’ve got a friend you’d like to bring along, we’d love to include them, too!” will often mean a few more potential members right off the bat. Along with that simple concept, make sure that the first meeting or two includes an invitation to include others. “Do you guys know anyone who would have loved being part of this discussion?” will help your new members reach out and include a few more.
What do you think? Have an idea you’d like to add? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.