When you meet me, it won’t take very long for you to figure out that I am a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. I have been since I was 5 years old. As a result of the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, I have received hundreds of offers to buy books and products celebrating last season. Apparently, Google knows I am an Eagles fan and lots of people are trying to cash in on the momentum generated by the Eagles win.
Taking advantage of the momentum generated by other circumstances allows you to go further on less energy. Obviously, lots more books about the Eagles sold after the Super Bowl. There are often circumstances that naturally create momentum and capturing that momentum is key for Small Groups Point People.
Here are three ways to capture momentum for your Small Groups ministry.
- Build your calendar around the seasons of life. I call these the three “afters”. After school starts, after the New Year, and after Easter. For most churches in America this is when attendance swells. This is also when people are most open to adding things to their calendar because they are in a season of transition. So, schedule your Small Groups campaign during one (or all) of these afters.
- Strategically schedule celebration and investment. About 8-10 weeks after your Small Groups campaign, your leaders are beginning to feel a little drained. The newness of life in community has worn off and gathering weekly can begin to feel like a chore. This is the perfect time to gather your leaders and inspire, equip and encourage them. Investing the time and energy to thank your leaders and give them some practical tools to lead their small group will energize them to finish this season of ministry strong.
- Reinforce what you value. What do you want your small groups to do? What is your hope for the people in a small group? Once you have identified these values, find ways to reinforce them. When a small group goes and serves together, tell that story to all your other leaders. Or when a small group cares for each other in crisis tell that story. For example, one of my small group leaders recently sent me this story. I am telling it to everyone I can, because it reinforces our values.
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“One of the couples in our group had a 17 year old who dropped out of school and ran away from home. She ultimately wound up in another state living with her boyfriend. After a couple of months, and lots of prayer she moved back home. That is when she told her parents she was pregnant. About 3-4 months into her pregnancy the baby’s father died from a drug overdose. So, our group decided to throw a baby shower for this young lady. Because we loved her and her family. And when you are 17, and living with your parents, you don’t have any money and none of your friends have money. We threw a baby shower, our whole group was there and some of our friends, the young lady brought a couple of her friends. They were awkward as some high schoolers can be around adults. But we showered them with love and made this whole situation a celebration of life and the love of Jesus. The students left feeling the love of Jesus and the love of complete strangers. And the young lady was able to receive lots of support for having a baby.
A few months later, she had a beautiful baby girl. And that baby is now coming to our Life Group with her grandparents. And she reminds us that Jesus can bring beauty and joy from the toughest of circumstances.”
Isn’t that story amazing! That is exactly the type of small group we want, so I am making sure all of our leaders hear that story. That is what reinforcing values is about.
When you embrace the natural seasons of life, strategically celebrate, and reinforce values, you will be able to capture the momentum that is already happening in life and in your small groups. And use that momentum to move your ministry ahead.