Memo: Approach connecting strategies much like you would if you were launching a new product. Think like a marketer if you want to succeed. There is a connection between effectiveness and design.
Now…before you get too concerned, I’m not discounting God’s role in how things happen. Just saying that it is a little crazy to start without being smart about what you’re trying to do. Here’s how I think about a connecting strategy:
The first thing I do is determine who I’m trying to connect. We need to think about this the way McDonald’s or Ruth’s Chris does if they’re trying to appeal to a certain segment of customers.
- I think about the people I’m trying to attract to the connecting event.
- I spend time wondering what their feelings are.
- I ask them how it feels to attend a church where you’re not known.
- I think about their schedules.
- I get to know a little about where they work (do they commute? how far? what time do they get home?).
- I think about their life stage (do they have kids? how many? are their kids grown? are they single parents? are they newly married?).
The second thing I do is think about the strategy (the kind of event, the timing of the event, the way it’s marketed, etc.) that would have the best chance of connecting the kind of person I’m trying to connect. Remember, I’ve already fine tuned my understanding of the potential customer. Now I need to choose an strategy that would have the very best chance of connecting this exact group.
I’ve written about different strategies a number of times and will just refer to them here. You need to understand though that the Small Group Connection strategy is a great way to get unconnected people to an event and HOST is very good at recruiting people who will go out and enlist their own members. These are two very different strategies, work differently based on the time of year, and will connect different kinds of people.
The third thing I do is choose a curriculum that works for the who I’m trying to connect and the strategy I’ve selected. This is a huge distinction. Once you have identified who you’re trying to connect it only makes sense to choose a topic and style of delivery that will appeal to them. This important distinction has caught a lot of people unaware.
I’m going to continue this discussion on Monday with a close look at how to choose curriculum that works for the who you’re trying to connect.