How to recruit people for your small group.
Tired of sitting in an empty room
Are you wondering how to get more people into your group? Here are a few steps that can help you grow your group, starting today.
Pray. Ask God to build a small group with the right mix of people for His glory.
Be open-minded. Don't look for your idea of the perfect people. Take a chance on people that you don't know that well. Don't just think of people at church, include people from your neighborhood, work place or people you often run into in the rhythm of life, like your hair dresser or mechanic.
Make a list. Write down the names of people you plan to ask and go after them. Don't assume they will all show up, if you are looking for 6 people, invite 15 to 20.
Get a partner. Dividing the list with someone else in your group provides someone to share the burden with, while giving you accountability and someone to celebrate with.
Be clear on the details. When you ask people to come, ask them to come for the duration of the current study, not commit for the year. Whether you are using the message-based discussion questions or the video track, give them the details. This will help them understand what they are committing to when they consider showing up. Here are some details to be sure they know:
Logistics - the when and where or the small group, where to park, what to bring
Study - the topic your are going through
Duration - how many weeks is this particular study (when you detail this it also give you an opportunity to ask again for the next study)
Contact info - make sure they have a way to reach out to you if they have any questions or want to let you know they are coming
Invite. At this point you have done all the prep - now you have to ask. Working with your partner, pursue people who you listed out, give them an invite (in your launch kit) and go have the conversation. If you send an email, don’t assume every unanswered email is a “no”. If you do not hear back from someone seek out a face-to-face conversation, phone call or text. Try again.
REPEAT. This is the step most people never do. If you think to yourself, "I tried that and it did not work", this is where you need to focus. This works when you repeat it.
As you take time to repeat this process here are a few other best practices that may improve your ratio of people you ask to how many show up.
Study - while it is true many will come based on the relationship you have with them, some people will show up if the content is compelling and speaks to what they are going through even if the relationship is not really there. If you think the current series may not be the best fit for those you are seeking to invite speak with your campus champion and they can point you toward other resources.
Face-to-face - look at the method you used to invite people to your group, having a face-to-face conversation has consistently proved to be the best form of inviting I have come across.
Partner - if you think back over the last round of inviting one way to try something different is work with a new partner or add more to that team. Each person knows different people and brings something different to the table. Try working with someone else or bringing another person into the process.
New list - each time through, fight the temptation to just reuse the same list. Start with a fresh list and think of people who you did not think about previously. After writing that list, add onto it anyone from the previous rounds that you think may come given some changes you made to the topic or the logistics. This will not start your list but give you an added bump at the end and increase your total number of conversations.
Ratio - there is a consistent pattern of people showing up in groups, if you ask 10 people you will most likely only see 1-3 of them there. This means that at best you will see one-third. That means two things:
Ask more people, increase the front end of conversations and you should see an increase on the back end.
if you are one of the lucky ones who gets a great return on the invite, Enjoy it! the next round may not be so easy, but ride the wave while you have it.