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Post-Easter: 3 Steps to Launch New Groups (and 5 Great Studies for New People)

With Easter 2015 just about as early as it can possibly be (April 5th), there is still plenty of spring left before summer to launch another small group.

With Easter 2015 just about as early as it can possibly be (April 5th), there is still plenty of spring left before summer, and it makes a lot of sense to launch another wave of small groups.

There are three steps to the idea.

Step One

As you know, we’re coming into a season (regardless of your hemisphere!) where many people are thinking, at least a little bit, about spiritual things.  Regardless of one’s religious background, there will be a number of noticeable references to Lent and Easter over the next 40 days.

The weeks leading up to Easter can be a good opportunity to cast vision into existing small groups about opportunities to invite unchurched neighbors, friends, co-workers and family to Easter services.  A simple video of your senior pastor speaking directly to group members about the opportunity could be played in every group.

Step Two

Easter (April 5th) is quite early in 2015.  With over two months left before school is out for summer (at least in the United States), there is plenty of time for a connecting event and enough weeks to allow new groups to have a chance of solidifying.  See also, How to Launch New Groups Using a Small Group Connection.

If a study was selected that would appeal to infrequent attenders (who will be attending this Easter) as well as friends and neighbors, it could lead to an easy opportunity to connect unconnected people.  See also, Design Your Connecting Event with Unconnected People in Mind and Four Secrets of Connecting Unconnected People.

Promotion of a connecting event could begin the week before Easter.  The event could be scheduled for April 12th or 19th.

Step Three

Choosing the right study will make it easier to promote the connecting event and encourage unconnected people to join “a six week group.”  Of course, you’ll be doing everything you can to make it such a good experience that they will want to continue, but you’ll also be leveraging the power of a test-drive.

The right study will also make it easy for those who have invited friends and neighbors to host a group in their home that will do the study. Also, if you want to connect unconnected people, you must select topics that will actually appeal to unconnected people.  See also, Preoccupied With the Needs and Interests of the Right People.

5 Studies to Connect People After Easter

transformed book

Transformed: How God Changes Us is the latest study from Rick Warren.  Anchored in the apostle Paul’s profound truth in Romans 12:2, this study explores what the Bible has to say about seven essential areas of our lives: Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Relational, Financial, and Vocational.

If you’re looking for a study that will connect less frequent attenders, Transformed has a number of advantages.  Rick Warren’s name is very recognizable and deals with a topic that is fairly cross-cultural (who doesn’t wish they could change something about themselves?).  You can read my full review right here.

jesus isJesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human is an eight-session small group study that reveals the character of Jesus in a powerful way.  Judah Smith is the lead pastor of The City Church, a multi-site church with thousands in attendance each weekend in the Seattle area.

If you’re looking for a topic that might appeal to infrequent attenders, you might want to consider Jesus Is _______.  Virtually no one has a problem with Jesus, and many people who don’t believe He is God are still intrigued by His teaching and influence.  You can read my full review right here.

overwhelmed book Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry is a six-week, DVD-driven study on a topic that is dead-center for many, many people.  Perry Noble, the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church, “a growing, vibrant church with multiple locations all over the state of South Carolina,” is a gifted communicator and teacher, convicted about speaking the truth as plainly as possible.

The application elements that are built in to the Bible study book are really exceptional.  Some very good work has crafted an excellent experience.  I loved Overwhelmed, and I think you will too.  You can read my full review right here.

7 questions[7] Seven Questions that Rattle in the Minds of Most Men is a powerful new study based on a seven-week study that has been offered at North Point over the last several years.  Now available from North Point Ministries, this is a resource you need to be aware of.

Offering a selection of studies could engage a larger number of unconnected people.  It’s easy to imagine this study grabbing the attention of the unconnected men in your church.  You can read my full review right here.

the best yes

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands is a new study by Lysa TerKeurst.  In this six-session video-based Bible study, TerKeurst shares how to make better use of the two most powerful words: yes and no.  Using Biblical teaching and practical insights, this study will help you be more equipped to discern the best answers for your life.

I am always looking for studies that will interest a broad cross-section of adults.  When I can find a topic that appeals to new Christians and seasoned veterans—and will even appeal to friends and neighbors—I know I’ve found a winner; what I call a cross-cultural study.  You can read my full review right here.  

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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.