Breaking: North Point Increases GroupLife Participation by Adding an Easier Next Step

Share via:

If you’re familiar at all with North Point’s small group strategy, you already know that their primary way of connecting adults into groups is an event called GroupLink*.  Offered more frequently in the past, GroupLink is now offered twice a year at two of the best times to connect people (August and January).

While all of this is fairly well known, you may not know about an interesting new addition to the North Point small group strategy.  Recognizing that they may be missing a segment of their adults who aren’t ready to make a 12 to 18 month commitment, they launched an easier next step called Access Groups.  At 7 to 8 weeks long, Access Groups are offered at strategic times in between GroupLinks (March, June, and October).

In addition to a much shorter commitment, Access Groups are offered on topics that have immediate appeal to adults (finances, marriage, dating, etc.).  Seven Questions That Rattle in the Mind of Most Men is a great example of an Access Group.  Seven Questions is a 7 week experience offered on-campus from 7:00 to 7:59 a.m.  Not a destination, the same content is repeated three times a year.  Upon completion, interested men are invited to continue meeting in an off-campus group that uses the same material to take the conversation deeper.

Although early, there is already evidence that a significant percentage of Access participants take the next step and attend GroupLink.

This is a great example of thinking steps, not programs.  Can you see how the addition of a shorter term, lower commitment option should increase the number of adults taking a next step from the auditorium to a midsize experience (and will ultimately help connect them into a group)?

What do you think?  Have a question?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

*You can learn quite a bit about the GroupLink strategy in Creating Community by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits.  You can also learn more and order North Point’s GroupLink Starter Kit right here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Ron on November 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    We have been doing three 8 weeks sessions with our Home Groups for a few years. It was the best move we have made to provide community for more people. We start each season with a “taste of Home Group” gathering for new people and it’s amazing to see how people connect so quickly.

  2. markchowell on November 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks Ron! BTW, are you using the 8 week session as a step toward ongoing? or are you using it as a semester strategy?


  3. Crissy Carroll on November 29, 2012 at 11:10 am

    This is one of those ideas that just makes sense! I was wondering though, are North Point’s Access Groups a large group with breakouts of smaller groups? Or are they a short term small group?

  4. markchowell on November 29, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Good question, Crissy! I believe they are all similar to 7 Questions. The format is large group around tables with facilitators for the group time. There is a presentation, but there is also built in time for interaction.


  5. Crissy Carroll on November 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    That’s really interesting. It gives both members and leaders a chance to dip their toe in. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Chris Campbell on February 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Hey Mark first time posting, thanks for the great resources. I am interested why they dont just try to transition these groups into formative groups vs making folks sign up and try grouplink risking losing people in the new relationship change. Also wonder if they would have led with some of there great cg starter curriculum on sunday morning and focused on community vs topical study if they would have just as much success and easier transition into night cgs in homes

  7. markchowell on February 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Two great questions, Chris. I can’t answer for North Point, but I can tell you that one reason they may not be able to transition directly to formative groups is that some of the access groups are co-ed (for example, the finance topic) while their community groups are for married couples, men or women. As for the Sunday a.m. question, North Point’s strategy does not include on campus opportunities for adults.

    By the way, a lot of this is explained in Deep and Wide. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can take a look at my review right here: