The Best Ways to Sustain Your New Small Groups--Part 1

Keep groups going after the 40 days of purpose.

Your church has been on a spiritual roll with the 40 Days of Purpose campaign. Everyone's excited, but you're actually worried: What will happen to these wonderful small groups once 40 Days is over?

No need to fret. Whether you just finished the 40 Days of Purpose or another fall campaign in which you launched new small groups, with these tips, you can sustain and strengthen your small groups from Day 41 onward.

1. Ask Your Leaders, "What's Next?"

Contact your small group leaders to thank them for their participation and ask some quick questions. Through a phone conversation or email, get the "Four P's" of Feedback:

Praise: How can they thank God for what happened in their group? Let them share stories of how God has been changing lives. When they relive that excitement, they will become energized about leading another small group.

Problem: What one problem did they encounter? Perhaps the curriculum choice, a difficult person, or group dynamics proved challenging. Whatever the problem, let them talk and feel supported by you.

Plans: What is your group doing next? If they don't have a plan, share with them what other groups are doing and discuss what would best fit their group.

Prayer: Any prayer requests? In that moment, pray for it. To show your earnest concern, follow up with an e-mail in which you write out a prayer for them.

2. Celebrate.

Rally all the new and existing leaders for a time of honor, strategy, praise, and vision. The best place to have a celebration is in a key lay leader's home, though you can do it at church after a Sunday service. You and other key staff should be there.

This is a time to hear leaders' stories and celebrate how God's been working. ...

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