observations and readings about church ministry ideas, challenges, solutions, and trends
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Four Ways To Connect People Into Groups After Easter
I can almost guarantee that your church will
have unconnected people in it on Easter Sunday. In fact, most churches will
have record attendance on that day, but we rarely plan for how to help those
new attenders get plugged into community as soon as possible. If one of your
purposes for small groups is to help close the back door, then there is no
bigger opportunity than Easter Sunday. Here are four things you can do to help
connect those new visitors into groups after Easter.
1. Have a groups connect
event the Sunday after Easter.
You will want to give people visiting on
Easter Sunday the quickest avenue possible to getting into groups. This
connection event can be a full event that leads into a campaign (see next
point), or a stripped-down version with just small group leaders available in
the lobby. Start promoting it on Palm Sunday to give you two weeks of promotion
before the actual event.
2. Plan a post-Easter,
four-week small groups campaign.
A full six-week campaign will be difficult at
this point, but a four-week series that starts the week after Easter will put
the campaign ending before Memorial Day—the unofficial start of summer.
Anything longer will lose momentum because of the natural rhythms of summer
vacation schedules. The first week of the study can kick off with the
connection event at the church and then move into off-site locations for the
final three weeks.
3. Only announce the next
sermon series and small groups on Easter.
With that many people in the room, it’s
tempting to announce everything that you do as a church. Resist that temptation
and only announce what the next series is and how people can get connected in
groups. Truthfully, most people will be thinking about Easter lunch at the end
of the service, so they will only have an attention span for one or two
announcements. Make those the most important initiatives they need to hear:
what they will learn if they come back, and how they can get connected in
4. Follow up on new
groups for the summer.
You don’t want your new groups to cease to
exist when vacations start, so plan to follow up with them the first week of
May in order to help them have a plan for staying together through the summer.
They don’t have to continue meeting every week, but this is not the time to
disband as a group. Give them ideas for doing something fun and something
missional throughout the next two months. That will help keep the community
going that was just started.
Dr. Pat Ford joined Church Partnerships of LifeWay Christian Resources in 2007 after 35 years of ministry in church, university, and seminary settings. He can be contacted at 832-725-4253 or email@example.com, and followed on Twitter at @patford.