Mass Hysteria at the Grab and Go Table

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So did you do what I suggested last week?  Did you make up some Grab and Go kits and recruit another 5 or another 50 hosts?  We did.  And it was mass hysteria at the Grab and Go table!  I’ll tell you all about it…but first, a reminder about why we did it.

The reason the Grab and Go idea makes sense is that even when you’ve done a great job of recruiting hosts for your church-wide campaign…there will still be people who won’t be connected.  Most of us are still going to be trying to figure out how to get the other half of our average adult attendance to at least test-drive a group for 6 weeks.  So if we can get a few more people to say “yes” to inviting even 2 or 3 people over it’s a good thing.  If they’ll even pull together their extended families it’s a good thing.  Not problem-free.  But a very good thing.  Right?

And…as I mentioned last week, most of the small group studies you will consider using for your campaign have a built-in call to action in week one that asks each group member to think about “who else would have really enjoyed tonight’s session?”  So if you can start another 5 or another 25 groups, even if they only start with 3 or 4 people…they could easily expand to 6 or 7 people for week two.  See where this is going?

What if they don’t?  What if they don’t expand?  What if they don’t even meet?  Can I tell you something?  Not all of them will!  But don’t let that stop you.  Don’t let that even be a factor in whether this is a good idea.  Instead, look at the upside potential and count every person that picks up a Grab and Go kit as a win.  After all, even if all they do this time is take this first step…it might help them next time to take a second step.

At the same time, think about this: Some of the people who pick up a Grab and Go kit, fully expecting to only do the study with one or two friends, will end up adding a few more after the first week.  That’s good right?  Absolutely.

What can top that?  Remember, in week three or four of the first study you’re going to start telling all of your new hosts (and that includes the Grab and Go hosts) about a recommended study for them to do next.  This is one of the 5 keys to sustaining the new groups you begin and ought to be a part of how you determine whether your campaign was a success.  It’s one thing to launch 30 new groups.  It’s another thing to sustain 70% of what you start.

What Happened at Parkview?

Keep in mind, I am not a theorist.  I am a practitioner.  We actually do the things I write about.  So…last weekend my pastor did a great job of talking up the Grab and Go idea in all six services.  And immediately following the services we had mass hysteria at the Grab and Go table.  We had already recruited and trained over 200 new hosts (to go with our 130 existing groups).  When the dust cleared after our final service we’d had about 60 people pick up a kit and commit to doing the study with a few folks.

All of the DVDs were gone.  All of the curriculum was gone.  In fact, we ran out before the 11:00 a.m. service started and we had to sign people up and commit to having curriculum for them by mid-week.  The Grab and Go table looked like a swarm of locusts had ravaged the place.  Nothing was left but empty boxes and our pitiful sign.  It was AWESOME!  Not problem-free.  Awesome.

Some of those groups are going to never meet.  Some of that curriculum will never make it out of the closet.  But some of it will be used.  Some of those groups will meet.  And some of those groups will be remembered as “where I was when God finally got may attention.” And that is the point.

I am not a theorist.  I am a practitioner.  And I aspire to be the mayor of Crowd’s Edge.

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  1. Allen White on October 4, 2010 at 7:10 am

    This is spot on, Mark. I believe in growing new groups the greatest obstacles are the pastors who want to keep control. It’s amazing to see how God motivates people to connect and to study His Word when we get ourselves out of the way and just let it happen.

    Of course, now you will have to deal with all of those axe murderers that are starting groups this week…(I’ve never seen that, even in California). Sometimes the most unlikely people make the best leaders.

    You didn’t pick them yesterday. God did! He tends to make better choices anyway.


  2. Mark Howell on October 4, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Yes! Spoken like the true apostle I know you to be! Great line! “You didn’t pick them yesterday. God did!”


  3. Gordon Nock on October 4, 2010 at 8:11 am


    I just wanted you to know God used the Grab and go yesterday in a tremendous way. We had already done all of the work for a connection event and had about 60% of our folks connected for the fall study. I had very few groups that even had any room left to incorporate more folks. There were a few folks that wanted to get in a group and I was not able to provide a place for them. So when I saw the Grab and Go idea I thought, maybe those folks who could not find a group would pick up a bag and host.
    Little did I know what would happen!

    By the second service I was out of bags!!! I took information and we are working to get the materials to them in the next two days.
    I started more groups in this one single event than I have started during a connection event!!!

    Thanks for the suggestion…it really worked for us,

  4. Mark Howell on October 4, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Awesome! That’s great! Keep it going Gordon!


  5. Mike Mack on October 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for this, Mark. Coming from another practitioner, I’m looking forward to trying a grab and go … with our spin on it, of course!

  6. Mark Howell on October 4, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Awesome! Keep us posted on how it goes!