All church small group campaigns are like fireworks—they can be powerful and inspiring, but if you are not prepared for the long haul, they have the potential to blow your hands off! Coordinating weekend services with small group curriculum can be a great way to deepen and develop a small group ministry.
Ada Bible Church, a church of over 3,000 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has run through three cycles of campaigns. Each one was unique in its theme, its timing and its outcome.
In the late fall of 2003 we (along with half of America) explored our "Purpose" for forty days. We doubled our adult small group membership and increased our weekend attendance. At the end of it, we lost a few groups, retained at least 75%, and became addicted to catalytic growth. By late February 2004, we were launching more groups around the "Passion of the Christ," which Mel Gibson was so kind to supply for us. Fewer groups participated and even less survived after The Passion. In mid-September of 2004, we explored a home-made campaign, "Identity Shift," in which we deepened an understanding of four themes in Romans.
We have learned, and continue to learn, how to improve the campaign strategy for growing our small group ministry. One area we are still staggering our way through is how to execute a seamless transition out of a campaign. We have been able to identify four keys to a smooth transition out of a campaign.
#1 Conduct a thorough debriefing mid-term in the campaign.
If you have a campaign that runs six weeks, you need to interact with those leaders at the 3 to 4 week mark. Depending on the size or your ministry and if you have coaches, this debriefing can be done in a leaders' huddle or over coffee. It is important to give leaders a chance ...