It’s that time of year. The very detailed people on your team are already thinking about September and October. The play-it-by-ear crowd hasn’t even thought about Memorial Day (FYI, it’s early in the month this year!). Where are you on the continuum?
Here’s the thing. Wherever you are on the continuum, September 13th is coming (FYI, Labor Day is late this year!). And wherever you are on the continuum, starting your planning process now will give you a big advantage. You’ll have much more impact, more opportunities to be creative, more time to leverage the best chance all year to launch new small groups.
A Few Practical Tips
- Choose an alignment, a message series/study that is designed to do what you want to do. This is an important point and missed all the time by pastors and staff. If you’re planning on recruiting HOSTS and encouraging them to fill their own group by inviting their friends and neighbors…you must choose a series that they will feel good about inviting their friends to. I wrote about this in an article called The Easy/Hard Continuum.
- Plan community-wide get-to-know-you opportunities all summer long. If you’re planning on using the HOST idea, it only makes sense to encourage everyone in your church to host a block party or picnic for July 4th and Labor Day. Consider ordering yard signs for everyone hosting a block party. Also, why not have every block party feature a “bring your favorite recipe” activity? Everyone can vote on their favorite and then the winners can be included in a church cookbook (proceeds to benefit ____________). Saddleback used this idea as preparation for the fall when they did 40 Days of Purpose for a second time.
- Use July/August to recruit HOSTS or leaders.
- Use September to promote the alignment (church-wide study).
- Launch the series/study in late September/early October.
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