Free Webcast Replay: 6 Big Ideas for Effective Online Groups

Now you can access a free replay of a brand new training on 6 big ideas for effective online groups.  Now during the pandemic, small groups are even more important to keep people connected to the church, to their faith and to each other. At The Journey, we’ve seen great success with moving small groups online — and we want … Read More


Sandra OlivieriChurch Systems, Coaching, Leadership, Ministry, Small Groups

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Free Live Webcast – 6 Big Ideas for Effective Online Groups

Now during the pandemic, small groups are even more important to keep people connected to the church, to their faith and to each other. At The Journey, we’ve seen great success with moving small groups online — and we want to share these proven best practices with you! Join us THIS Thursday, July 16 for a brand new online training: 6 BIG IDEAS IN 60 MIN … Read More


Sandra OlivieriChurch Systems, Leadership, Ministry, Small Groups, Uncategorized

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Become a Church of Small Groups

The below excerpt is from my book Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups. This revised and expanded edition shows church leaders how to make their small groups work.  What would the church look like if we all got serious about our focus, eliminating the misguided ideas and habits bogging us down? Imagine if each one of us made a commitment … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups

What happens when someone wants to join a small group between semesters?

The below excerpt is from my book Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups. This revised and expanded edition shows church leaders how to make their small groups work.  What about the man, the woman, or the family who comes to my church after small groups have kicked off? They’ve missed the promotion month. Can they not get into a group? … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups

The Power of Promotion in Small Groups

The below excerpt is from my book Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups. This revised and expanded edition shows church leaders how to make their small groups work.  Six weeks to a month before the start of a new small group semester, it’s time to launch a promotion month. During this month, focus your attention on getting everyone in your … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups

Think Promotion Months, Not Ongoing Sign-Ups

  “So you’ve made a decision to implement the semester-based system in your church. But what happens if someone new comes to your church in the middle of a semester? Can they get involved in that group? While conventional wisdom would say, “Yes, of course! People can sign up and jump into a group at any time,” the reality is … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups

Stagnation in Small Groups

  “Stagnation usually happens if a group is together for longer than sixteen to eighteen weeks. At that point, people have had the chance to get incredibly comfortable with one another. When group members are so familiar with each other that they start knowing what other members are going to say before they say it, growth stalls. Everyone settles into … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups

The 7 Advantages of Time-Bound Groups

  “There are seven advantages to putting time boundaries on groups: The groups have a clear beginning and end date. It is easier for people to make short-term commitments. Time is allotted for concentrated promotion with sign-ups. It’s easier for new people to join a group when everyone is starting at the same time. There are more group options – … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups

Adapting a Cultural Norm for Maximum Small Groups Success

  “Taking a cue from the early gospel spreaders, my team and I asked an unusual question as we built the Activate system: What current cultural norms can be adapted to help give small groups momentum and success? The most obvious answer is the academic calendar. Our culture is defined by its educational system. People adhere to the flow of … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups

The Pastor’s Role in Small Groups

  “Remind yourself often that you cannot engineer deep relationships in your groups. That’s not your job anyway; it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. Your job is to create effective social spaces where people can meet new friends and learn about God with like-minded others. When you do that, the personal and intimate relationships you want your people to … Read More


Nelson SearcySmall Groups