Inviting people to your small group is a core competency of small group leadership. This becomes magnified when you are launching a brand new group for the first time. I consistently see new small groups die on the vine, in the beginning stages, from a lack of “invites.”
Remember what the master said to his servant in Luke 14:23: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Today I want to share with you 5 Steps To Effective Invites…
1. Don’t Do It Alone
I don’t care if you’re trying to launch a small group or fix your fence. If you’re trying to complete a project or achieve a goal, it’s always easier to do it when you’ve built a team. If you’re planning on leading a small group and you don’t have committed Assistant Leaders yet, don’t worry about invites (yet) and focus on that. One Assistant Leader or one couple is good, two Assistant Leaders or two couples are ideal. Click Here to read other articles that have been written on this vital small group component.
Once you have a core leadership team for your small group you can begin to leverage it towards inviting people out to your first meeting.
2. Plan A Meeting To Hatch A Plan
Meet with your Assistant Leader(s) to discuss the necessity of offering invitations to the small group. Then begin to write-out a list of potential people that each person can invite to the group. Ideally, it’s best to think of people who aren’t already attending a small group or the church.
You’ll want to write-down at least 25 different names. Why 25 people? Click Here to read a past article, Know Your Rate of Return. You can download the SGC Invite List to help you organize the information together (Click Here to download). Divide the names up evenly and/or according to relationship. You and each Assistant Leader will be responsible to invite their assigned people and give them a reminder call (see #5 for Reminder Call).
3. Make A Simple Flyer
The key word here is “simple.” Please do not spend 3 hours or hire a graphic artist to make a flyer that will end up on the bottom of someone’s purse or jean pocket. Make sure it has the name or theme of the group, the address of the group, when it’s meeting and any contact info (email, phone,etc).
4. It’s Go-Time!
With a completed invite list and flyers in hand, it’s time to go out and invite each person. Make sure you and each Assistant Leader know who is inviting who. As you invite each person, ask them if you can write down their email and phone number to remind them when the meeting is a day or two away.
5. Reminder Call and Email
When the small group meeting is one to two days away, send out a reminder email with all the info about the small group meeting. After you send out the group email, have each person receive a reminder call from you or an Assistant Leader. Usually, you get a lot of voicemails, which is why the email is helpful. On the voicemail or discussion you can refer to the email for all the details. A sample voicemail would sound something like this, “Hi John, this is Mason, hope you’re having a good day! I’m just calling to remind you about the small group meeting I invited you to last Sunday morning. We’ll be meeting this Sunday night at 6pm at my house. If you need more info feel free to give me a call at 555-5555 or you can check your email for the Small Group Reminder I sent you. I’m praying for you and your family, hope to see you there! God bless…”
Remember, people have busy schedules and they may not be used to going to church activities outside of Sunday morning. A lot can happen in their life between the time you invite them and the actual day of meeting. This is why a reminder call a day or two out can be the difference between them showing and not showing up.
In conclusion, your goal should be to have at least 6 people show up to your first small group meeting. Six is a solid number to start with that will allow you to sustain momentum and grow from there (For more on the Ideal Small Group Size, click here). To make sure I’m not assuming anything, always be diligent to cover and bathe all of your Kingdom efforts in prayer with Jesus. God bless!
CC Image • Courtesy of Tracy hunter on Flickr