5 Things to Do in July to Maximize Small Group Ministry This Fall

Last month I gave you a list of 5 things to do in June to maximize small group ministry this fall. Assuming you’re on target with last month’s five … here’s what’s next:

5 things to do in July to maximize small group ministry this fall:

1. Plan the HOST orientation(s) that will happen in mid-to-late August. Whether you’re recruiting HOSTs for a church-wide campaign or you’re 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.  

2. 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 knowledgable game-changers, your new leaders will be much more likely to return phone calls and actually look forward to connecting with their coach.  

3. Plan a HOST Rally that will take place in late August or early September. A rally or gathering 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.  

4. 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.  

5. 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 arranging for payment.

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Mark Howell
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.

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