If you decided to launch a church-wide study with your small groups this year, you’re probably just getting started or in the middle of that campaign. Now is the time to plan for what is next. The success of the campaign is not as much about how many people signed up but how many people continue in community after it ends. Here are five things you should do now to ensure your campaign is ultimately a win for your church.
1. Have a follow-up study ready. Put as much effort into the next study as you did for your campaign one. You don’t have to enhance with videos from your pastors, but make sure it progresses on the current one and is exciting enough for groups to want to continue with. Check out smallgroup.com for easy, custimizable study options for your groups.
2. Adjust groups for the next six weeks. Chances are good that at least a few of your new groups did not make it to the end. Have a plan ready to help integrate those people into existing groups, or start more viable new groups for the next study.
3. Have a plan for new groups to start. A new study is a great opportunity to launch new groups. Implement another push for people that missed out on the campaign to be in a group. They have probably sensed the excitement around the all-church study and now want to be a part of it.
4. Transition your coaches. If you recruited new coaches for all of the new leaders during the campaign, you will need to check in with them and encourage them to continue with their leaders for the next six weeks.
5. Celebrate the campaign. Don’t get so wrapped up in what’s next that you miss celebrating what God has just done. Celebrate all of the new leaders and the work they put into hosting groups for the campaign. Celebrate the life change that is taking place because people are being discipled in community. Begin collecting those stories and share them with church on a Sunday. That will help build momentum for your next campaign in the fall.
Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over 22 years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Team at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, and was on staff at Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC, for 15 years. He also manages SmallGroup.com for Lifeway Christian Resources. Chris’s first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was just released by Thomas Nelson. You can follow his blog at chrissurratt.com or follow him on Twitter @chrissurratt.