Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tenn., recently tripled the number of people who committed to be in a small group. The key was making it as easy as humanly possible to find and join a group. Here are the church’s five game changers:
Print a list of all new groups and include it in the weekend handout, allowing people to peruse the list at their leisure before committing to anything. Before, people didn’t get any details about the various groups until they attended Grace Community’s connection/assimilation event.
Stuff a sign-up card into the weekend handout. In the past at Grace Community, if someone was interested in joining a group, he had to stand in a sometimes long line and complete a form. Give people an excuse to leave—e.g., a long line that’s taking too much time—and chances are they’ll take it!
Shoot a video explaining the entire process and show it on sign-up day. Make sure no one can say she doesn’t know how or where to sign up.
Provide a list of reputable baby sitters at each sign-up table or booth. The No. 1 excuse for someone to not join a small group? Child care.
Use large, colorful, well-designed signs to mark each table so that at a glance, people can quickly identify their specific group of interest.
Ben Reed is the executive pastor and small groups pastor at Grace Community Church. He blogs at BenReed.net
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2012 issue of Outreach magazine.