Are any of these true of you? How you lead now may end up in you not leading later. How can you avoid burn out as a Group Leader?
Have you ever received the name of a prospective group member who never showed up to your group? Maybe a staff member sent you a name and contact info or someone expressed interest in your group online. You reached out to them, but they never showed up.
Maybe your group roster has more people who don't show up than people that actually attend. When you arrive to your Community Group, you end up being more discouraged about those who didn't show up than encouraged about those who came.
So, how do you get prospective group members or the people on your roster to attend?
While we can't control people or make decisions for them, here are 2 steps that will help move people from your group roster to your living room.
1. Practice the Rule of 3
What is the Rule of 3? It is simply reaching out to prospective group members 3 times, with 3 different contact methods (phone, text, email), over 3 different weeks.
Week 1 - Call within 24-48 hours
Strike while the iron is hot before they psych themselves out or convince themselves that joining a group is a bad idea.
It can be nerve racking to call someone on the phone you don't know, but it is a much more engaging and thorough form of communication than an email or a text. Hearing your voice will help them feel more like they know you before they show up for the first time.
- If they don't answer the phone, leave a voicemail and then send a follow up email with the group details. Less and less people check their voicemail these days, so an email increases the likelihood they hear from you right away.
Week 2 - Send an email
If you still have not heard from them about attending your group, send them an email with the details about your group and ask if they are still interested. Asking them if they are coming encourages them to take an action step, to respond and hopefully commit.
Week 3 - Send a text
I am blown away at how many people will never respond to a call or an email, but they will respond to a text almost immediately. For people who never check their voicemail or email, there is a notification sitting on their messaging app awaiting their response.
If they do respond and let you know they plan to attend, encourage them to meet you on Sunday before your next group so they have at least one familiar face their first week of group.
We practice this same Rule of 3 on our Connections Team at Northridge. When people express interest in taking next steps we have found this process very helpful to move them from interest to participation.
2. Share the Load
Make a goal that everyone on your group roster gets a touch every week via a text, call, or in person.
One of the best ways to make sure you are able to effectively connect with the people on your group roster is divide up your roster for shared follow up.
When you assign each Group Leader several names, it enables you to focus on a few rather than everyone. You may even ask other mature group members to help with follow up.
Neither of these steps guarantees people will show up to your group, but it helps you know you've done your due diligence in reaching out. It also lets group prospects know there is a group for them when they are ready to take that step.
Looking for more ideas?
Listen to the Reaching One breakout on how to find and keep new people.
Resources On Sex
As you discussed this past weeks sermon about sex in your group, you may have come across some issues or questions you are not sure how to handle. Below are a few resources you may find helpful. Please contact your coach if we can be of further help.
Community Groups Pastor
Life is better connected!
One of the most intimidating roles in a Community Group is facilitating discussion. Because of that group leaders often fail to share facilitation fearing it is too difficult or important of a role for other group members.
5 Ways Failing to Share Facilitation Limits Your Group
Facilitation is seen as something only group leaders can do
Fewer people get in the game and develop facilitation skills
People who are great question askers are stuck on the sidelines
People are too intimidated to consider group leadership because they don't think they could lead good discussions
- Groups are unable to multiply for lack of new leaders
The goal of group discussion is not teaching but application. Anyone can ask questions about how to apply the Bible to our lives.
So, how do you share facilitation with your group members?
3 Ideas for Sharing Facilitation
Schedule a different person to facilitate discussion each week.
Hand out the schedule the first week of group and let people know you'd like everyone or almost everyone to facilitate discussion in group.
Let them know that all they need to do is read questions off a piece of paper.
Communicate with them that if they are not comfortable leading discussion to have a conversation with you after group.
Followup After Meeting
After group, follow up with the person who facilitated discussion to celebrate and affirm them. Most of us are anxious about doing something new, especially talking in front of others. So do all that you can to encourage and thank them.
If you have any suggestions, limit them to one or two at the most.
They mostly just need your affirmation that they can do it and they did a good job.
If you have further questions about how to share facilitation in your group, let your group coach know. The more people we can get into the game the better.