Five things to do in July:
- Plan New HOST Kits or Orientation(s) that will be provided in mid to late August. Whether you’re recruiting HOSTs for a church-wide campaign or you’re simply launching some new groups this fall, your newest leaders will be ahead of the game if you give them the training they need to get started. Keep in mind that adults learn on a need to know basis. They don’t need to know everything, but there is a short list of things that will help them prepare. Over the last seven years we have gradually shifted away from host orientations. They still work to a degree, but we’re finding it much easier to get the information and training to more new hosts by providing a Host Kit. See also, HOST Orientations That Launch Groups, Breaking: Add This HOST Orientation to Your Bag of Tricks and How Do We Help a Host Get Off to a Great Start?.
- Provide the training your newly recruited coaches will need in order to come alongside your new group leaders this fall. One of the most helpful things you can do is introduce your new leaders to their coach at the HOST orientation. A face-to-face introduction will go a long way toward helping make the connection solid. Especially after appropriately recognizing your coaches as experienced and knowledgeable game-changers, your new leaders will be much more likely to return phone calls and actually look forward to connecting with their coach. If you no longer do a host orientation, consider connecting coaches with hosts as they pick up their host kit. See also, Skill Training: Four Questions Every Coach Should Be Asking
- Plan a HOST Gathering that will take place in late August or early September. A gathering or rally allows your senior pastor a great opportunity to cast vision about the fall from a leader’s perspective. A rally provides a fun and inspirational boost as your groups make ready for the fall group launch. See also, Steve Gladen on the Power of HOST Gatherings.
- Plan a series of email communications that will begin in August. You’re going to need to need to communicate with existing small group leaders and new small group HOSTs as well as the whole church about what is coming. If your church is like mine, those emails are much more likely to go out when you need them to go out if you’ve coordinated them with your database manager. See also, 5 Keys to Getting Everyone Involved in Your Church-Wide Campaign.
- Plan your curriculum distribution process. Whether you’re planning a church-wide campaign or are simply launching a wave of new groups with your fall “semester,” you’ll need to have a plan for distributing curriculum. Many churches do the bulk of curriculum distribution in their HOST orientation. Others set up distribution points in their bookstore or lobby. Thinking through that process in July will allow you to recruit the number of volunteers you’ll need, coordinate delivery, as well as arrange for payment.
This article originally appeared here.