The Exponential Power of a Church-Wide Campaign

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What is the most powerful way to impact your entire congregation?  Many believe that a church-wide campaign, what Rick Warren refers to as a spiritual growth emphasis,  is the most important spiritual innovation in the last 50 years...maybe the last century.  Why?  Read on.

Although there are very basic church-wide campaigns that simply offer a way of focusing the weekend message, more robust campaigns align everything that everybody is doing for the season.  Weekend sermons, small group curriculum, children's Sunday School programming, student ministry programming, memory verses, newsletters, bulletin inserts, websites, everything is used to get everyone on the same page for six weeks.

(Need help?  Click here to find out about my Church-Wide Campaign Coaching program)

Alignment is the key.  Why is this important?  Church life without alignment is like a car out of alignment.  Instead of everything moving in the same direction, all four tires are trying to move in a slightly different direction.  Can it work?  Only roughly.  Put things in alignment...and experience the synergy of everyone and every ministry on the same page.  How do you get alignment?  There are four important keys to launching a church-wide campaign.

  • Choosing a campaign theme is the most important decision you'll make.  Although the 40 Days of Purpose is the most familiar, there are a number of off-the-shelf campaigns available.  I've highlighted some of the best over the last several years. Take a look at Looking for a New Church-Wide Campaign, New Church-Wide Campaigns for 2009, The Latest in Church-Wide Campaigns for 2010 and New Church-Wide Campaigns for Fall 2010.  Additionally, with some work you can put together a home grown campaign.  A key question is, "Who are you trying to engage?"  The difference between what will engage the core or committed versus what will engage the crowd must be taken into consideration.  I've written about this right here.
  • Determining when to do your church-wide campaign is also very important.  Adequate preparation synchronized with a season that allows build up and follow through is essential.  For this reason, the fall ministry season is optimal in many ways.  Saddleback, masters of the campaign universe, launch most of their campaigns at the end of September, allowing a burst of promotion right after Labor Day to enlist end-of-the-summer new attendees.  With certain caveats pre and post Easter are other effective campaign launch windows.
  • The weekend series before and after the campaign play an important role in who will be engaged and who will stay engaged.  Opening the fall with a broadly appealing series gives you the ability to engage the crowd or community.  Following the campaign with a series that is immediately applicable to your newest attendees will help them remain engaged.
  • The strategy used to recruit small group leaders plays an important role in who will be in the groups.  Choosing a crowd-sensitive topic and recruiting HOSTS from the congregation beyond the usual suspects are essential ingredients in the recipe for an exponential campaign.  Decisions made about who can lead and how you'll fill groups enable wider impact that reaches beyond the twice a month attendee and into the crowd and community.

Need more help?  Ready to plan a church-wide campaign that reaches beyond the usual suspects and into your community?  Setting up a series of coaching calls is easy, very affordable, and will pay for itself.  You'll have clarity on your next steps or your money back.  I guarantee it.

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  1. Kirk Harper on April 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Mark, Back in January I used the Host Strategy for the first time and saw some incredible results in how it worked and identified leaders and co-leaders. Those four groups continue to flourish, grow and invite.

    I tried it a second time last week and again the results were amazing. Both a Leader and Co-leader were identified and the group had an amazing first night. All of these groups are made up of seekers and non-churched people and the whole process has been amazing to watch as these dear people get connected to a community of people and then walk along side each other, asking questions & seeking after God.

    This Method has totally changed our Home Group community. I cant wait for the next one. It is the coolest and most productive thing I have done as a Home Group Director. I compared the risks and stepped out in faith and my whole approach and vision for Small group communities has changed.


    Kirk Harper

  2. Anonymous on April 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Yes! Thanks for jumping in here Kirk! So glad to hear that’s it’s working well!