Summer is for long days with a lemonade by the pool… but you better start thinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes soon. In most contexts, Fall is the best season to launch new groups. People are returning from their summer travels and the school is kicking off. The seasons are changing and there is momentum here you just can’t pass up!
The success of your Fall is determined by the work you put in during the Summer.
Now is the time to start thinking of how many groups you need to launch this Fall! Here are a few action steps you need to take this summer to prepare for a successful Fall launch:
Set A Goal
How many groups do you need to launch to make sure everyone in church who you want to be in a group has one? Now we all want 100% of our church to be in a small group, but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen all at once. So think how you can use this Fall to make a realistic difference. Maybe you want to grow small group participation by 10%? First, find out how many people would that be and determine how many groups you need to start to reach that. Next, determine how many leaders you will need to lead those groups. Finally, pray and brainstorm about where you may find these leaders at!
Recruit New Leaders
This is the most laborious, faith-stretching, and fun part of the summer! Try to start recruiting conversations with people who may be a good fit to lead a small group. How would you go about finding good candidates? Start with your existing small groups and work out from there! There are likely people in existing small groups who love it, have caught the vision, and have the skills needed to lead—they just need to be challenged! Meet with existing group leaders and see if they have a co-leader, apprentice, or a faithful member who would make a great leader. Another option is to determine the spiritual gifts of people in your church and keep an eye out for those who seem like they would make a great small group leader.
Prepare Them to Launch
How will you prepare your leaders to launch their small group? No matter what format your groups meet in (on-campus, off-campus, online, ect.) there are certain things that they need to know before they launch. Think about hosting an in-person training event, creating online training courses, or simply gathering with them around a meal. They are looking for you to support them in this venture you have invited them into! So be sure to answer the questions they may have regarding the who, what, where, why, and how of their new small group.
Get the Word Out
Fall is the last thing on the mind of most of your church attendees. Between sports, vacation, and having the kids at home, they are surviving the spring through summer. When August rolls around they will likely be returning their normal church attendance patterns. You know what this means? They will be ready to give a small group a try! So start thinking about how you plan to engage them with the next steps to take to join a small group.
Summer presents a great opportunity for recuperating after a bust Spring… but Fall is coming! Be intentional to make a plan to keep you on track!