When someone decides to sign up for a small group at your church, it should be an immediate, one-step process. Never, ever ask people to take multiple steps to become part of a group. In my experience at The Journey and in working with thousands of churches across the country, I have discovered that for every incremental step you add to the sign-up process, you exponentially decrease the number of people who ultimately sign up.
Imagine a church that has one hundred people in attendance on a given Sunday. That church is planning to start small groups soon, so the pastor preaches on relationships, builds excitement about groups, and explains how important it is for everyone to get involved. The congregation gets excited. They are abuzz with fresh energy. But what if the pastor then tells them they can’t sign up right away? Instead, they need to come to a group connection night during the week where they will learn how to get involved. Of those one hundred people in attendance, approximately half will turn their current excitement into future action. So about fifty people will show up for the connection night — which means the pastor lost fifty potential group members before sign-ups even got started.
People like easy — and they like being able to take action while something is fresh in their mind. Creating a simple process for your attenders will require some work on your part. In a one-step sign-up system, your administration and volunteers will have to put in some time making sure the right people get in the right groups and ensuring that group leaders are following up with those who join. But that’s what we are called to do. As church leaders, we handle the administration so that our people can benefit from the ministry.
– Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas, with Jennifer Dykes Henson
The above excerpt is from p. 233-234 of Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups.
Drawing from the startling success of small groups at The Journey Church, Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas debunk the myths, set the record straight, and show how church leaders can implement a healthy small group ministry that gets the maximum number of people involved and solves many of the important problems facing churches of all sizes. These practical strategies will produce life-changing results.
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