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Top 10 Ways to Launch New Groups

There are many ways to launch new groups. If you’ve limited your attempts to one strategy…you truly do not know what you are missing.

Here are my top 10 ways to launch new groups:

1. Launch a church-wide campaign. If you want to launch a wave of groups, there is absolutely no better way. This strategy leverages the external connections of hosts and with the right campaign can provide an amazing link into the community.  

2. Hold a Small Group Connection. The key to this strategy is that it connects the people who come to the event and doesn’t require “pre-qualified leaders” going into the event.”

3. Plan and launch GroupLink. This is an excellent strategy. If you are a fast growing church and late to the game, it will not catch a moving train. But…if you’re looking for a plug-and-play concept that will work in season and out…you’ve got to consider this one.  

4. Launch sermon-based groups. It is hard to argue with North Coast’s sermon-based semester concept. They’ve been successful at connecting 80% of their weekend adult attendance for many years and it is a very viable strategy.  

5. Hold a small group fair. Most commonly used in conjunction with a free market strategy, this is a very good way to help unconnected people find a group they’d like to join.  

6. Plan a “book club.”  

7. Reconfigure existing Bible studies or classes into true group experiences.  

8. Design a menu of short-term on-campus “classes” that lead to off-campus groups.  

9. Plan a special event with a speaker (live or video) on a topic that attracts an affinity (couples, singles, men, women, empty nesters, single parents, etc.). With the right advance planning and a little creativity, it’s easy to imagine the strategic grouping of unconnected people at an event that includes a speaker, dessert, and conversation. Would you like to meet one more time to talk about what you’ve learned tonight?

10. Make the small group vacation strategy a regular part of your annual playbook. This really is a genius move. Simply suggest that existing groups considertaking a six week vacation from their group to help jump-start a new group. Ingenious!  

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Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.