Lessons from Saddleback: How to Launch Your Church-Wide Campaign

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How can Saddleback have 4,500 groups?  How can they have more people in groups (35,000) than they have at their weekend services (22 to 26,000)?  How do they generate so much participation in their church-wide campaigns?

I’m asked these questions every week.  Really what people are asking is, “What is Saddleback doing that produces such a dramatically different outcome?”

While there are several keys to what happens at Saddleback, after watching week one of Life’s Healing Choices in the fall of 2009, I now have a great way to start answering these questions.  “Just watch them.”  Next time they launch a church-wide campaign, watch a service online.  It’ll take you a little over an hour…but you’ll see some very important things.  Here are a few things to watch for:

  • Notice how many times being in a group is mentioned.
  • Notice that they’re still talking about signing up to host.
  • Notice that you could host and not yet be a member.
  • Listen for Rick Warren’s explanation of the power of a spiritual growth emphasis near the end of the message

I know you are busy.  If you’re a senior pastor, you need to watch this to begin to get the picture.  If you’re not the pastor, watch it so you’ll be able to explain a few things…then forward the post to your pastor for them to see.

There is a reason for the impact that Saddleback is having.  Andy Stanley says, “Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing.”  Short answer to all the questions about how Saddleback is doing it?  We are seeing the results of a group life design that works.

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