Top 10 Reasons Church-Wide Campaigns Miss the Mark

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top 10While there are some key steps to launching a church-wide campaign that lead to greater participation, higher  follow-through, broader community interaction, and deeper values integration…there are also some devastating missteps that cause campaigns to miss the mark.  Here are my top 10:

  1. Selecting a topic that doesn’t engage the crowd, from the hard end of the Easy/Hard continuum (See also How to Choose the Right Church-Wide Campaign).
  2. Missing the strategic window of optimum launch dates, either too impatient to wait or too slow to gear up (See When Is the Best Time to Launch a Church-Wide Campaign).
  3. Failing to help your members build neighborhood or work relationships in advance of the campaign (See Build Crowd to Core Flow in Advance).
  4. Hand-selecting group leaders from the usual suspects (core), failing to capitalize on the relationships of the congregation and crowd (See How to Make the Small Group Ask and Why You Must Make the Host Ask Several Weeks in a Row).
  5. Failing to engage key opinion leaders who influence the congregation.
  6. Identifying the campaign topic too late, missing the opportunity to find testimonies that recruit hosts or members (See also How to Develop Video or Live Testimony that Recruits Leaders and Members and Video that Recruits Hosts).
  7. Failing to use key marketing options to promote the campaign more broadly and engage wider participation (See Promoting the Launch Series).
  8. Failing to choose a “next curriculum” for new groups that is “similar in kind” (DVD-driven and plug-and-play), leading to the selection of material that is too difficult and the pain of groups that end unnecessarily .
  9. Failing to introduce the next small group material early enough to keep new groups energized and engaged (See What’s Next? When and How to Promote the Next Curriculum).
  10. Allowing the Senior Pastor to delegate the role of vision caster to anyone else (See Your Senior Pastor as Small Group Champion Leads to a Church OF Groups and 5 Things Senior Pastors Need to Know about Small Group Ministry).

Need a planning checkup?  A second opinion on your time table?  Sometimes you just need a pair of fresh eyes. Someone who brings a lot of experience and can quickly diagnose an issue or identify an unseen solution.  Click here to find out how to schedule a telephone consultation that can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your campaign.

Image by Andrew Lewin

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  1. Aplos Software on March 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Do you know of any research as to why churches fail?  Do they have the same failure rate as small businesses?  Found this article about small business success/failure rates that has a lot of great infographs (easy on the brain).  Interestingly, it distinguishes between “voluntary closures” vs “failures” which is something that is not often talked about.  The top 3 reasons for failure were: Lack of experience, insufficient capital and poor location.  Do you know if the same true for churches?

  2. Anonymous on March 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Interesting stuff…but probably the wrong post to comment on. I don’t know of any research on what you’re asking. I can refer you to my post, Ready for an Assumption Hunt ( The research cited in that post is slightly more on topic.