When it comes to promoting small group ministry opportunities nothing comes close to the power of personal testimony (live or video). While that statement might not be a mystery, in practice most of us end up doing the least effective thing instead. In the great hierarchy of marketing effectiveness the least effective is print (I’ve lumped all print together: bulletins, newsletters, e-newsletters, website). Only slightly better is verbal announcement supported by a handout. Still better is for the senior pastor to talk about the opportunity as part of the message. And the most effective method is for the pastor to refer to a video or introduce a live testimony.
How can you develop video or live testimony that recruits members or leaders? It’s really pretty simple.
Recruit people for the video (or live testimony) with compelling answers to the following questions:
- What were you afraid of when you were considering joining a small group?
- What do you sense God has done in your life as a result of being in the small group?
- What would you say to the people who are still thinking about whether they should join a group?
If you’re making the video to recruit leaders (HOSTs), you can make a very simple tweak:
- What were you afraid of when you were considering hosting a small group?
- What do you sense God has done in your group?
- What would you say to the people who are still thinking about whether they should host a group?
Here are some additional keys:
- The testimony (video or live) should be about 2 1/2 minutes. If it is video it is best to string together 10 to 12 short clips. The creative use of a soundtrack and graphics can really be effective.
- Let the video only show the interviewee (not the interviewer). Have the interviewees answer with a form of the question. For example, "When I was thinking about hosting a group, I was afraid because I didn’t know much about the Bible."
- Don’t be afraid to yell "Cut!" and ask the question again or ask the interviewee to shorten it up. It is much more compelling when the the video is tighter. Long answers are death. Keep it short.
- If the testimony is written have them practice reading it. The key is "once more with feeling!"