Hard to believe it but the fall ministry season has come and gone. Hopefully, you and your ministry reached the goals you set back in the spring for groups launched, unconnected people connected, coaches recruited, etc.
Have you already planned for January? Are you making final tweaks to your plan or do you need to get serious about the strategies you will use?
January is a great time to connect people to groups. I think of it as the second best time to launch groups (with the fall being the best time). See also, When Is the Best Time to Launch Groups?
There are some naturally motivating factors that really prompt movement and interest in January. The idea of making New Year’s resolutions, turning over a new leaf or rebooting after a tough year is right at the front of many people’s minds in late December and January.
Capitalizing on New Year’s Resolutions
As you plan your January strategy, keep in mind the natural motivations of people. Unconnected people are already thinking about what they need to do to have a better 2015.
Here are 7 ideas to help you plan:
- Schedule a connecting opportunity in late January or early February. This will provide several weeks to promote your connecting event. See also, How to Launch Groups Using a Small Group Connection.
- Choose an easy-to-use study with the right theme for the people you are trying to connect. Think “fresh start” or “building a solid foundation.” You might want to take a look at WEiRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working, Transformed: How God Changes Us, The Best Yes, or Fight: Winning the Battles That Matters Most.
- Plan to spend several weekends promoting your connecting event. Remember, unconnected people are infrequent attendees. If you want them to hear about your event, you’ll need to promote it several times. See also, When Is the Best Time to Launch Groups?
- Make it easy to sign up for your event. An insert in your bulletin with a simple sign up form (first name, last name, best phone number, best email), an opportunity to sign up online (or via their phone), a convenient table in the lobby, should all be employed in the attempt to get the word out.
- Leverage your senior pastor’s influence. You have the greatest potential to connect people when your senior pastor is your small group champion and mentions the connecting event in the sermon. See also, Your Senior Pastor as Small Group Champion Leads to a Church of Groups.
- When people sign up to attend be sure and send a follow up email from your senior pastor congratulating them for taking an important next step and providing instructions for the event.
- Plan to send a reminder email 3 days prior to your event.
- Recruit a calling team to make quick reminder phone calls the day before the event.
Hope this helps as you plan!