In case you missed it, Easter 2018 is April 1st! Just about the earliest Easter can occur.
This is big news for all of us, because an early Easter offers a third really good opportunity to connect unconnected people in groups (normally late September/early October and late January/early February are far better than post-Easter).
Ordinarily, Easter happens a little too close to summer to allow new groups to meet enough times to firmly establish before the inevitable interruption brought on by vacations, sports leagues, summer camps, etc. Just when you get a new group going…they decide to take the summer off. And that’s all she wrote!
But, when Easter is early, executing the right strategies will yield some new groups that have two full months and maybe part of a third before they start running into summer issues. And that’s enough time for them to be connected well enough to survive the summer.
Here are three strategies that will launch new groups:
Schedule a small group connection in mid April.
If you begin promoting the small group connection on Palm Sunday, you can collect sign-ups on 3/25, 4/1, and 4/8 and then hold it on 4/15. Choose a great starter study and then help them help them continue by pre-selecting a follow-up study and providing them a strategy for surviving the summer.
Remember, the topic you choose determines who will say yes to joining a group (or attending a connection). The studies/topics in my 2018 lists were hand-selected for this purpose.
Launch gender or life-stage specific on-campus studies (that lead to off-campus studies) the week of April 15th.
For example, scheduling a study like Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage will attract unconnected couples. Facilitated around tables, this strategy will allow attendees to experience the benefits of a group with the safety of an on-campus first step. Providing them a natural follow-up study to be done off-campus will encourage many groups to continue.
Remember, a great first step out of the auditorium will help a significant number of unconnected people get connected. For all but the most extroverted, showing up at stranger’s front door is pretty scary. Walking into a familiar on-campus room is an entirely different story.
Launch a church-wide campaign that begins the week after Easter.
The right series will provide an excellent comeback incentive for unconnected people. Making it easy for unconnected people to join a new group or even invite a couple friends to join them in doing the study will give many the first step into community they need.
The key is to steward well this opportunity to launch new groups and connect unconnected people. We don’t get this chance every year. It’s a gift and the right strategy will connect people we would miss otherwise.
All of the church-wide campaigns in my 2018 list can be promoted in a way that will catch the attention of unconnected people in general and newer attendees in particular. With a well-designed on-ramp, a church-wide campaign post-Easter could be a powerful season at your church.
- How to Launch New Groups Using a Small Group Connection
- Take Advantage of This Short-Term On-Campus Strategy
- Top 5 Post-Easter Studies for New Groups (2018)
- Top 10 Ways to Launch New Groups
- Top 5 Church-Wide Campaigns for 2018