Warning: Do not miss this important concept. The topic you choose for your church-wide campaign absolutely determines two very important outcomes:
- The topic determines who you are able to connect.
- The topic also determines who will say yes to hosting a group.
Here’s what I mean:
First, the topic you choose for your church-wide campaign has everything to do with who will even be interested!
- If you choose a campaign that focuses on a spiritually challenging topic (discipleship, evangelism, prayer, etc.), you should not be surprised when the majority of those who connect to a group are from the core, committed and inside edge of your congregation (to use the Saddleback concentric circles concept). See also, Connecting the Gap Between Community and Congregation.
- On the flip side, if you choose a topic that focuses on a more crowd-friendly topic (pressures of life, relationships, purpose, etc.), you can expect to connect the outer edge of the congregation and into the crowd. Depending on the topic, you may even see connection into the community (those who have never been to your church). See also, 5 Cross-Cultural Church-Wide Campaigns That Ought To Be On Your Radar.
Who you are able to connect is directly related to the topic. There’s an upside and a downside to both outcomes. Which group you’d like to connect ought to determine the topic you choose. See also, Does Your Topic Connect with Your True Customer and How to Choose the Right Church-Wide Campaign.
Second, the topic you choose for your church-wide campaign also determines who will say yes to hosting a group.
- If you choose a campaign that focuses on a spiritually challenging topic, don’t miss the fact that potential hosts may size up the challenge of inviting neighbors, friends, co-workers and family and decide not to sign up to host a group. See also, The Easy-Hard Continuum.
- On the flip side, if you choose a campaign that focuses on a more crowd-friendly topic you can expect a different outcome. When considering whether to invite neighbors, friends, co-workers and family, the right topic makes the invite easier.
The topic you choose for your church-wide campaign determines who will say yes to hosting. Does that mean certain topics are better? No…definitely no. What it means is that the topic you choose determines who will say yes to hosting. See also, HOST: What Does It Mean?
- Choose the topic for your church-wide campaign based on the needs of your church. If you need to train your congregation as evangelists, choose a study that provides that training. If you want to connect neighbors, friends, co-workers, and family…choose a topic that they’ll be interested in.
- Don’t be taken in by wishful thinking. If you can’t imagine inviting your neighbor or your friend, there’s a pretty good chance that the topic isn’t the right topic.
- Be wise in terms of the calendar and when you schedule an outwardly focused campaign versus an inwardly focused campaign. Certain seasons just lend themselves to outreach (late September and early October). Other seasons are much better for evangelism and discipleship efforts (leading up to Easter).