There are many ways to launch new groups. If you’ve limited your attempts to one strategy, you truly do not know what you are missing.
Here are my top 10 ways to launch new groups:
1. Launch a churchwide campaign. If you want to launch a wave of groups, there is absolutely no better way. This strategy leverages the external connections of hosts, and with the right campaign, it can provide an amazing link into the community. See also "The Exponential Power of a Churchwide Campaign" and "10 Simple Steps to a Great Churchwide Campaign."
2. Hold a small-group connection event. The key to this strategy is that it connects the people who come to the event and doesn’t require “prequalified" leaders going into the event. See also "How to Launch Groups Using a Small Group Connection."
3. Plan and launch GroupLink. This is an excellent strategy. If you are a fast-growing church and late to the game, it will not catch a moving train. But if you’re looking for a plug-and-play concept that will work in season and out, you’ve got to consider this one. See also "North Point’s Small Group System."
4. Launch sermon-based groups. It is hard to argue with North Coast’s sermon-based semester concept. They’ve been successful at connecting 80 percent of their weekend adult attendance for many years, and it is a very viable strategy. See also "An Analysis of the Sermon-Based Small Group Strategy."
5. Hold a small-group fair. Most commonly used in conjunction with a free market strategy, this is a very good way to help unconnected people find a group they’d like to join. See also "Distinctives of the 3 Types of Small Group Connecting Events" and "A Potentially Game-Changing Mashup We’ll Be Testing in September."
6. Plan a book club. See also "Two Big Opportunities That Will Connect More People This Spring."
7. Reconfigure existing Bible studies or classes into true group experiences. See also "True Community? Or a Smaller Version of the Weekend Service?"
8. Design a menu of short-term on-campus classes that lead to off-campus groups. See also "North Point Increases GroupLife Participation by Adding an Easier Next Step."
9. Plan a special event with a speaker (live or video) on a topic that attracts an affinity group (couples, singles, men, women, empty nesters, single parents, etc.). With the right advance planning and a little creativity, it’s easy to imagine the strategic grouping of unconnected people at an event that includes a speaker, dessert and conversation. Would you like to meet one more time to talk about what you’ve learned tonight?
10. Make the small-group vacation strategy a regular part of your annual playbook. This really is a genius move. Simply suggest that existing groups consider taking a six-week vacation from their group to help jumpstart a new group. Ingenious! See also "Take a Small Group Vacation!"
Mark Howell is the founder of SmallGroupResources.net, committed to helping churches launch, build, and sustain healthy small group ministries. He’s also the pastor of discipleship communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church. You can read Mark’s blog at markhowelllive.com or follow him on Twitter.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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