We recently held the first webinar of this season’s series, “The Keys to a Successful Small Group Campaign.” In the first webinar, “What is a Christian Life Trilogy Campaign & What Does Small Group Bible Study Look Like?” author of the Christian Life Trilogy, The Rev. Charlie Holt discussed the importance of aligning a whole church with small group Bible study and how to plan for a small group campaign. To check out the video of the webinar, click here!
What do we mean by alignment?
A church-wide study, bringing into union all the different ministries and life of the church. The Crucified Life, The Resurrected Life and The Spirit-Filled Life are written to correlate with the Lenten Season, which is before Easter Day, then Easter Season, and then after Pentecost Day, which is 50 days after Easter.
Why is alignment important?
If we do this study in alignment with the regular pattern of the Christian year, it makes tremendous sense to the people who are going through the study. Allowing for deeper exploration and discussion of themes touched on in large group gatherings. Also, by following the Christian year, there is an opportunity for the whole congregation to work through the heart of the Gospel together at the heart of the Church year.
3 Steps to Building Our Community
Obtaining 100% congregational involvement and building small groups require planning. Now is the time to begin planning for a Lenten campaign and study! Think about this in three ways:
1. Build Your Leadership Team
Build the team that would focus on doing The Christian Life Trilogy as a church-wide study. Set your goals and make your plans.
2. Recruit Small Group Hosts and Facilitators – H. O. S. T.
Use this acronym when deciding the right hosts and facilitators to recruit for your small groups:
Heart for other people
Open your home
Serve something simple
Tell a few friends!
3. Invite Small Group Members
Have the hosts encourage and invite friends from the different parts of their life to join the small group discipleship. Remember that everyone already has small groups in their lives, people with whom they would like to spend more time and become greater disciples of the Lord.
Follow this timeline to plan your campaign. This is the optimum timeline to organize and plan for a launch date on Forgiveness Sunday, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
Leadership Team: November – December
Build your leadership team, and have meetings with this team. Make sure your leadership team is your “A-Team.” If you are working toward 100% congregational involvement, put your best people on this projects. The leadership team should be very involved and invested in the life of the church, and a voice of the church.
- Senior Pastor/Leadership Onboarding
- Campaign Director
- Prayer team coordinator
- Small Group team coordinator
- Communications team coordinator
- Set God-sized Goals and Plan
Small Group Hosts: December – January
One thing you can do is use Christmas Eve to recruit hosts and members. Promote your small groups while you promote your Christmas Eve service. This is the perfect time to give people a next step in growing their relationship with God. This will help grow your church’s membership involvement throughout the year.
- Order Curriculum
- Sneak Peek for Existing Hosts
Small Group Members: January – February
Having a connection event to help small group hosts to recruit their small group participants. This gives your whole church an opportunity to participate without leaving anyone out.
- Build Anticipation Christmas Eve!
- Connection Event
Forgiveness Sunday, February 11, 2018
Creating Your Goal and Making it Exponential!
As a leadership team, setting goals are important to get 100% involvement. When you are considering how many small group hosts you need, be sure to consider the number of groups you will need. Start by considering how many people come to church on a Sunday. If you have 100 people on average for weekend attendance, divide that by 10 people in each small group, and you would need to have 10 small groups with 10 group hosts. Even for small churches it is very accessible when you look at it this way.
Experienced in small group ministry and instructing how to create successful small group ministries, Rick Warren says, “You can structure for control or for growth but you can’t do both.” One reason people don’t like to use small group campaigns is because they fear the loss of control. They want to manage the environment by keeping things at the church location and having one teacher. Doing small groups you lose this ability to control by inviting lots of people to get involved. You don’t know where those small groups are going to be, but the more people that get involved, the more growth you will see. Making small groups worth the loss of control.
Pastor or Priest Engagement
If you are going to have a church-wide campaign, it is critically important to receive the support of the senior pastor, priest, or rector of the church. If you need help with getting your pastor interested in small group Bible study, Rev. Holt is happy to help. Please feel free to reach out to him, and he will work with you and your pastor to discuss engagement. Contact Rev. Holt Here.
What is your pastor interested in?
Having a hard time getting your pastor onboard for your envisioned campaign? Sometimes there are barriers. When you are casting vision to your pastor, think about the things they are interested in.
- Increased connection (Pastoral/Fellowship need)
- Increased spiritual growth (Discipleship need)
- Increased attendance (Worship need)
- Increased serving (Ministry need)
- Increased giving (Stewardship need)
All are results of SMALL GROUPS!
How Do I Reach My God-Sized Goal?
- Plan a Launch: Crucified Life in Lent 2018
- Recruit Your Campaign Team – NOW
- Set Your Goal – with your leadership team
- Recruit your Small Group Hosts – Dec/Jan
- Connect Your Congregation into Groups – Jan/Feb
- Coach Your Hosts for Success – Ongoing
Remember we want to help you strive in your study of the Lord. Bible Study Media is here to guide you to a successful church-wide campaign. If you have any questions or concerns about getting your small group campaign off the ground, please reach out to us. Learn more about the themes of study in The Christian Life Trilogy from our recent post: The Things of First Importance.