Search Results for: coaching

Group Coaching

Small Group Ministry Coaching Groups
20674943_s

Remember when you were a kid. You were full of excitement and chased a vivid imagination. Nothing seemed impossible. You could do anything — an astronaut, a fire fighter, a supervisor at Hallmark Cards. Okay, maybe not that last one. Are you living that dream? Or did reality come crashing in on you? Or did God call you into ministry?

What are you dreaming about now? Unless your careful even a dream of ministry can turn into a rut. Let’s not go there. Dream with me for a few minutes.

Imagine connecting the majority of your congregation into small groups this Fall. Everyone in your church is connected and growing spiritually. People you never imagined have stepped forward to lead. Your senior pastor is more excited about small groups than he has ever been. Your church is energized and ready to serve your community. You haven’t seen this many people going the same direction for a long time, if ever. It could happen. How would you feel?

Then, reality sinks in. How many leaders would you need? Where would they come from? How would you recruit these leaders? How would you form groups? Whose going to process all of those sign up cards? How would you get everyone on-board? How would you coaching and train all of these new leaders? Now, the feeling is not so great. But, what if you had help?

What if there was no guesswork in getting your small groups from where they are to getting everybody in a group? What if you could launch out into something new without falling on your face? What if you found a way to  success that minimized the risk? You could connect your people into small groups and live to tell about it.

What I am talking about is my next Small Group Ministry Coaching Group that starts on June 22, 2016. You will have my help in planning your group launch, starting or expanding your coaching team, connecting people into groups, then executing a proven timeline to successfully connect as many people as possible into groups this Fall. But, we won’t stop at the launch. You will be coached throughout your Fall group launch and have a plan in place for your new small groups to continue into 2017. Our coaching will take you all of the way through December 31, 2016.

Are you ready to get started? For the full details on the next Small Group Ministry Coaching Group, click here.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us: info@allenwhite.org or 949-235-7428.

7 Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group from Forbes Magazine.

Advanced Coaching Group (By Invitation Only)advanced mastermind group - future

If you’ve been launching groups with church-wide campaigns since the original 40 Days of Purpose, this group is for you. This group is limited to 5 thought-leading pastors who want to drill down into strategies you will never find in books or hear about at conferences. If you are ready to get down and dirty with what others will hear about 10 years from now, let’s put our heads together.

If you have the chops, you’re in. If not, then I’ll recommend the Small Group Mastermind (described above), then you can join the Advanced Mastermind at a later date. If you have any questions, please contact us: info@allenwhite.org or 949-235-7428.

Leave a Comment

Individual Coaching

Strategic Personalized Small Group Coaching Social Media Pic - lower res

Small group strategies abound, but which one will help you recruit your entire congregation into community and help you recruit all of the leaders you will need. If you are suffering from information overload and would like a coach to walk you through the most effective and proven strategies, our Strategic Small Group Coaching is a great solution for you. Starting with an assessment and custom strategy for your church, you will be coached by expert, proven leaders to accomplish your goals. Take the guess-work out of small group ministry. Get a coach in your corner.

Interested in Strategic Personalized Small Group Coaching? We have programs for any size church and budget, please contact allen@allenwhite.org or call Allen at 949-235-7428.

“Allen White, and the team have come along side of us to produce better leaders, better polished curriculum, better groups, and maybe best of all, lots more groups.  We are grateful for their partnership.”  —Gene Appel, Senior Pastor, Eastside Christian Church, Anaheim, CA and former Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL and Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, NV

Virtual Small Group Pastor

Hiring the right small group pastor can be difficult, so don’t. Rather than hiring someone who may or may not work out or who you have to train yourself, the Virtual Small Group Pastor option provides all of the strategy, support and logistics to effectively recruit new leaders, connect your members into groups, train new leaders, and develop a coaching structure to support the groups ministry. The Virtual Small Group Pastor will function as a staff pastor at your church participating in staff meetings, planning sessions as well as oversight and responsibility of the entire small group ministry. Interested in a Virtual Small Group Pastor? Please contact allen@allenwhite.org or call Allen at 949-235-7428.

“Allen White is our small group superhero! Allen’s wisdom and insight helped us put all the pieces together for taking our small group ministry to a whole new level. Allen is able to see the big picture and was the key to helping us build healthy systems for a sustainable small group ministry.”                                                                                                                                                            Matthew Hartsfield, Senior Pastor, Van Dyke Church, Lutz, FL

Onsite Small Group Assessments

Spiritual growth and group success are difficult to measure. How do you know where your ministry stands? You probably have a sense it could be more, but what and where? This Onsite Ministry Assessment will help you identify your ministry’s current strengths and weaknesses. By surveying group leaders and members, interviewing staff and key lay leaders, and reviewing your group history and goals, we will create a plan for your small group ministries future success. For more information, please contact allen@allenwhite.org or  call Allen at 949-235-7428.

“Allen White was easy to work with, coached us through the entire process, and was a wealth of information that helped me recruit and develop leaders, cast vision and have an even bigger vision for groups at our church. I highly recommend him to churches who want to increase their reach into their congregations and into their communities through groups.” Pam Palmour, Groups Pastor, Copperfield Church, Houston, TX

One Hour Consultation.

What if you could bend the ear of a small group expert for an hour? You can. With this option, Allen White will give you a one hour consultation at an affordable rate to address any and all of your small group issues. Whether you are seeking proven methods for small group ministry, a sounding board for your current strategy, or an opportunity to share ideas, this option gives you access to both what’s worked as well as what’s ahead for small groups. This is perfect for small group pastors/directors who are not quite ready for a longer term coaching relationship.For more information, please contact allen@allenwhite.org or call Allen at 949-235-7428.

Curriculum Production Coaching

Over the years, I have discovered the power of multiplying the life and ministry of the senior pastor by producing video-based curriculum. This easy to use tool is a catalytic force in launching 50 percent or more of your church into small groups. While you could spend a lot of money and hire a professional production team, the reality is most churches have the ability with the staff, volunteers and equipment they have to produce a publisher-quality curriculum for themselves. Curriculum Production Coaching will take you step by step the process to not only give you a beautiful and effective new curriculum, but also to train your team and give you a “printing press” to continue creating curriculum in the years ahead. For more information, please contact allen@allenwhite.org or call Allen at 949-235-7428.

“Allen White coached my team and me through the creation and execution of Mt. Horeb UMC’s first in-house church-wide campaign.  He was a phenomenal coach providing step by step direction with patient explanations of not just the “how’s” but the “why” beyond various aspects of the project.  Our “More” Campaign was so successful that our work was used at a recent UMC conference event demonstrating the possibilities of home grown video resources.  Beyond that, we were able to provide our resources to other churches to inspire and encourage. Thank you, Allen for giving so many churches the tools to reach the world for Jesus Christ!”   — Claire Andrews, Mt Horeb United Methodist Church, Lexington, SC

Leave a Comment

Coaching

Here are some ways I can help you and your church:

Over most of the last 12 years, I’ve done a lot of high end consulting with some of the largest churches in North America. What I realize is by focusing on churches who are 2,000 members or more, there are a good number of the 400,000 churches in North America who could not access the consulting I offered. My mission is to offer effective strategies and reliable service at affordable prices to every church. Whether you choose on online course, a coaching cohort, or affordable personal consulting, we offer a plan that will work for you and your church. Here are our options:

Group Coaching

We are offering two levels of Mastermind Groups for small group coaching. One for pastors and directors who want to learn and implement effective strategies for launching and retaining groups. The second for pastors and directors who either I’ve worked with previously or who have vast experience in small groups. For more information, Click Here.

7 Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group from Forbes Magazine.

If you have any questions, please contact info@allenwhite.org or 949-235-7428.

Individual Church Coaching

Consulting is for pastors and churches who are looking for an individual, custom designed plan to connect your congregation into community. This option will lead you through producing your own curriculum, recruiting and training coaching, recruiting and training groups leaders, connecting members into groups, retaining groups for the long haul, plus all of the training aadvanced mastermind group - futurend coaching they need along the way. Designed to help a church start and sustain an exponential number of group, we will come alongside a church for 12 months and personally guide them through every step. For more information, Click Here.

If you have any questions, please contact info@allenwhite.org or 949-235-7428.

Free Webinars

Webinars are offered on various topics of interest for small group pastors and directors, Senior Pastors, and other key staff. For a current listening of webinar as well as archived webinars, please Click Here.

If you have any questions, please contact info@allenwhite.org or 949-235-7428.

Leave a Comment

Why Small Group Coaching Fails

By Allen White Image

Almost every small group pastor or director will agree coaching small group leaders is important. Yet, many of those pastors would also admit they don’t know how to adequately coach their small group leaders. Having tried and failed at various coaching structures many times myself, I have found three key issues in unsuccessful (and eventually successful) coaching.

Unclear Expectations

Many coaching structures fail simply because no one knows what a coach is supposed to do. Is the coach an administrator or record keeper? Is the coach a trainer? Is the coach a figurehead so we can say we have a coaching structure? What do we expect our coaches to do?

If we need coaches to train leaders, then why are small group pastors still running centralized training meetings? Do we really need coaches to collect rosters and reports? Don’t we live in the 21st century? After all, churchteams.com will solve all of these administrative issues. (In an effort for full disclosure, I believe ChurchTeams is the best small groups’ database on the planet. Boyd Pelley did not pay me to say that. He did buy me an ice cream once.)

What do we need coaches to do? We need coaches to do the things we can’t do ourselves. If we had, say, five small groups, then what would we do with those leaders? We’d call them on a regular basis. We’d get together for a cup of coffee. We would personally encourage them, answer their questions, and pray for them. We would invest in the relationship. What if our coaches started there? Coaching is based on relationship. If there’s no relationship, not much coaching will take place.

Unreasonable Requirements

A friend of mind called me a while back. He was frustrated because many of his coaches were quitting. I asked him what he was asking them to do. He wanted his volunteer coaches to hold a monthly training meeting with their leaders on the church campus. Then, I asked him if he’d ever driven in his city?

This was a major metropolitan area. So, think of requiring volunteer small group coaches to hold monthly training meetings in the middle of one of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. It wasn’t working, and his coaches were quitting.

Face to face meetings are great. If you can pull them off with all of your leaders together, that’s really great. But, most people can’t. Fortunately, there are some alternatives.

Why not meet “together” with small group leaders on freeconference.com or Skype? Every day I coach small group pastors across the country over the phone or by teleconference. I’ve met few of them in person, but we connect on a weekly basis. We have a relationship, and they have seen success in growing their groups. This works with leaders locally too.

Facetime is necessary (the real, in-person version). Again, coaching is built on a relationship. But, maybe the face to face meetings are with one or two group leaders and not all of them. We can use other means to connect at other times. Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating a simple “Like” on Facebook or a bulk email to all of the leaders at once. The connection must be personal to grow the relationship.

Lack of Accountability

None of us likes to make people uncomfortable. Some of us avoid this discomfort to the point of not asking our coaches if they’re coaching. Then, we discover not much coaching is taking place. We shouldn’t be surprised.

Only what we supervise gets done. Now, we don’t have to come down on our coaches like a ton of bricks, but we do need to ask. Rather than asking, “Have you contacted your leaders?” we should assume the good, qualified people we recruited to coach are actually coaching. The question could go like this, “What are you learning from your leaders?” They won’t get defensive.

They might respond, “Well, I haven’t contacted any of them lately.” That’s okay. Give them a deadline, “I understand you’re busy, but connect with your leaders in the next two weeks, then I’ll check-in with you again.” Presuming the best about our coaches both honors and motivates them. Giving them accountability helps them keep their commitment to coaching and eliminates the guilt of not fulfilling their commitment.

Effective Coaching

Effective, motivated coaches need direction that is clear, reasonable, and accountable. How do I know? A good coach taught me that…as he was resigning. Do your coaches know your expectations? Do you know your expectations? Are your requirements reasonable? And, if it’s truly important, are you holding them accountable? These three simple words will transform your coaching structure.

Other Posts on Small Group Coaching:

Small Group Coaches Are Not Bureaucrats

Recruiting Small Group Coaches without Resumes

The Role of a Coach

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments

Case Study: Van Dyke Church 5 Years Later

By Allen White

Matthew Hartsfield

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you are probably wondering:

Does this really work, or is this all talk?

Great question!

I’ve talked about the churches I’ve served and all of the churches I’ve coached. Today, I want to introduce you to one of those churches.

The Case Study

Back in 2011-2012, I had the privilege of coaching Van Dyke Church in Lutz, FL.

(If you want to read the original case study I wrote about them back in 2012, CLICK HERE).

Why am I using an example that’s five years old? Because I want you to see what happened then, and where things are five years later.

Believe me, it’s easy to create a lot of excitement for one six-week church-wide campaign or 40 Days series, but what happens after that series ends, the number of groups you retain, and the way you support them, is more important than starting dozens or hundreds of new groups for a campaign.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. We want to build things that will last.

Back to Van Dyke Church, in 2011, they had 1,800 adults in their weekend services and about 400 people in groups. After working with them for 9 months, Van Dyke grew to over 2,000 people in groups. That’s 110% of their adult attendance. This is what Pastor Matthew Hartsfield says about the experience.

“Like most churches, Van Dyke Church had a small group ministry for years. However, group ministry was not deeply imbedded in the culture of our church, and we never exceeded 22% of our adult weekend worship attendance in groups.

“That all changed when we started working with Allen White as a coach for our small group ministry. With his help, we created and launched our own sermon-based curriculum and developed a systematic approach to creating a small group culture of adult discipleship. Within one year, we saw dramatic impact:

• Our first launch we moved us from 22% to 56% in groups (1,000 adults)
• Our second launch took us from 56% to 89% in groups (1,600 adults)
• Our third launch went from 89% of adult weekend worship attendance to over 100% (over 2,000 adults).

“Today, four years later, we are still sustaining close to 90% of our adult weekend worship attendance in small groups!

“Allen’s coaching helped us create a small group ministry that generated results across the board:

• People get connected in community.
• People grow in their study of the Bible.
• People serve in mission together through their small group.
• People develop leadership skills as small group hosts.
• People become more evangelistically motivated to invite outsiders to small groups.

“Allen White was used by God in an essential way to help us move to an entirely new level of spiritual growth and impact as a church.”

While Pastor Matthew is very generous about his words regarding my coaching, I would say God had a much bigger role in this than I did. But, then again, the reason I was even coaching this church and so many others is because of what God taught me through the Exponential Group Launches in my own churches.

What made the difference from Van Dyke Church? They were committed to groups, but in 2011, they made some significant changes which produced exponential growth. Here’s what they did:

Tip #1: Focus on a Long Term Win.

Let’s be honest here. Launching one church-wide campaign or series for six weeks creates a lot of excitement, but often it doesn’t produce lasting results. For some strange reason, people get the idea that after the six weeks is over, they’re done. Where would they get an idea like that?

Notice how Van Dyke’s groups few. They went from 400 in groups to 1,000 the first time around. But, they didn’t wait a year to do it again. In fact, the Fall 2011 series ended before Thanksgiving, and the next series began in January. Not only did they add another 600 people in groups, they kept the 1,000 who were in the Fall groups.

Before the Fall series ended, they announced the Winter series. Before the Winter series ended, they announced the Spring series, and ended up with over 2,000 people in groups, which means they had more people in groups than in their worship services.

If you’ve launched one church-wide campaign, then you lost those groups, you would be led to believe that doesn’t work.

And, you are right! It doesn’t work.

But, if you put in the effort the first year, whether you launch in the Fall or in January, your groups will continue, and you will add more groups each time. If you’re only doing one campaign every Fall or every New Year, even though you are committed to groups and campaigns, you have placed your church in an endless cycle of Ground Hog Day.

You know the definition of insanity, right?

The key is a sequence, not just one series.

Tip #2: The Senior Pastor is the Groups Champion.

Pastor Matthew and Van Dyke Church actually created their own curriculum, which is possible for any church, even if you shoot it with an iPhone!

I remember the day after our team coached their first video shoot. Pastor Matthew called us into his office and asked, “Now that we’ve shot this video and are making curriculum, how do we recruit leaders? And, how do we get people connected into groups?”

His Discipleship Pastor had tried to generate this kind of interest in groups for two years. What did it? The senior pastor made the investments.

So, how do you recruit leaders and connect people into groups?

If you’re the small group pastor or director, you don’t recruit leaders. In fact, if you do recruit, you’ll get 30% of what your senior pastor will get.

Pastor Matthew stood up in his weekend series and invited people to open their homes and do a group. Think about this: at that time, he had been the pastor for 18 years. If someone wasn’t connected to other people in the church, why were they there (other than Jesus)? They were there because they connected to the senior pastor! They liked his personality and his teaching. They laughed at his jokes. The senior pastor is the reason they’re there. (Now, don’t tell this to your worship pastor. It will break his heart.)

When Van Dyke Church launched their first study, Pastor Matthew recruited 60 new leaders. When they launched the second time, he recruited 60 more. Then, on the third time around, he recruited over 40 leaders, which put them way over the top in the ratio of groups to service attendance.Their small group director trained and supported the leaders, but their senior pastor did all of the recruiting.

Tip #3: Groups have Remained on the Front Burner of Ministry.

After the first year, Van Dyke Church didn’t offer three self-produced curricula in a single year, but they still kept their energy focused on groups. They offered a weekly discussion guide. They produced one series a year. Their groups went up and down, like everybody’s, but after five years, they still retain a much higher number of on-going groups than where they started.

Pastor Matthew saw the benefit of groups for Van Dyke Church as he stated above: connection, growth, serving, leadership development, and evangelism. What other ministry in the church does all of that? There was no looking back for them.

So, what about you? How do you double, triple, or quadruple your groups? How do you get your senior pastor on-board?

This is why I created the Leading an Exponential Group Launch course. The principles and strategies that brought success to Van Dyke Church can also bring success to your church.

Before we started together, Pastor Matthew was friendly toward groups, but he wasn’t the champion. Let’s get your senior pastor to champion groups in your church.

What are your thoughts?

, , , , ,

Leave a Comment

[Part 1/3] Connecting Your Entire Congregation: 3 Secrets to Discipling a Growing Church

By Allen White

By captainvector via 123rf.com

By captainvector via 123rf.com

After the dismissal of our founding pastor, our church was devastated. Everyone left who was in favor of our pastor. Everyone left who was against our pastor. And, all of the staff left, except for me. There I was with the 85 remaining members praying about what to do. It was a hard year.

On the very last Sunday of that year, our new pastor joined us, and hope reappeared. Our church started growing — not dramatically, but consistently.

When we reached 250 people, we heard our congregation say, “I don’t know everybody anymore.”

When we went to two services and reached 400 people, the comments changed to, “I can’t find the people I do know.”

Everybody didn’t need to know everyone, but everybody needed to know someone. We knew it was time to start groups.

I attended conferences, read books, and interviewed other pastors about small groups. The more information I collected, the more confused I became. We launched our groups for better or worse. Some of what we experienced was better than expected. The things we didn’t expect were worse.

Here’s what worked for us:

1. Small Groups Connected Our People Like Never Before.

As our church continued to grow, we didn’t want to see people get lost in the shuffle or fall through the cracks. Even though they didn’t come all at once, they were coming in a steady stream. We needed to start connecting and discipling folks ASAP.

As our couple of Sunday school classes and our midweek Bible study were declining, we found that groups were a great place for people to connect and go deeper into God’s Word. We offered a variety of curriculum for our groups to choose from. Since we only started with a few groups, it was easy to keep an eye on them and know what was going on. If a group started to stray toward the “loony fringe,” we very gently guided them back into the fold. Things were under control.

We made announcements in the services, sent postcards in the mail and emails, and featured groups regularly in the church bulletin. Our groups started to gain momentum.

In fact, we couldn’t recruit new leaders fast enough to keep up with the demand.

2. A Quality Group Experience Starts with Quality Leaders.

Now to make sure we didn’t set ourselves up for trouble, I took on the task of personally recruiting every group leader. I had been at the church for seven years at that time. I pretty much knew the good apples from the rotten apples. (And, God loves the rotten apples, too.)

The easiest place to start was to round up the usual suspects. You know, the folks we counted on for everything. I personally invited board members and founding members as well as other solid citizens. It didn’t take much effort to quickly find 10 willing leaders who I believed would offer a quality experience.

Admission: I also knew that they wouldn’t cause any problems for me. I was wearing a lot of other hats like children’s ministry, leading worship, and overseeing all of our ministries, plus speaking on Wednesday nights and occasionally on Sundays. I did not need any more problems. I had enough already.

We weren’t reaching for explosive growth. After all, since our church was growing steadily, but incrementally, we felt the gradual growth of groups would serve us well. I mean, we weren’t Saddleback or Willow Creek. There was something special about them. Normal churches like ours weren’t seeing huge percentages of people connected into groups…at least not yet.

We offered the groups to our people, and they signed up. Once the groups were full, then the rest of the folks who wanted to join a group had to hang out in the midweek Bible study with me or in a Sunday school class until the next batch of group leaders were ready to go. Even though we let a year pass before we offered groups again, we launched six more groups the following year and quickly filled them up as well.

Things were going well in the “trouble-free” department. Our groups were coming along. And, our church kept growing steadily.

Value: A quality group experience starts with a quality leader.

3. Don’t Skimp on Coaching and Training.

Every year I would gather my new recruits into a “turbo group” by way of Carl George and his book, Prepare Your Church for the Future. We spent six weeks as a small group with the intention of every leader or couple starting their own group when the training was over.

I trained them on why groups were important; how to deal with various issues in the group like over-talkers and conflict; how to recruit an apprentice leader; and how to birth a new group. The training was in the format of a small group, so based on a Bible study, I was modeling a group meeting while I was training the leaders.

After the training ended, and the leaders started their new groups, we met monthly for group huddles. While I did have a couple of other people helping me coach the leaders, I was still learning about group life myself, so I did all of the training and led the monthly huddles. The coaches visited groups and connected with the leaders.

Result: We developed a solid groups system with 30 percent of our adults in groups.

As our church continued to grow, our groups also continued to grow. Groups weren’t keeping pace with the growth of the church, but we achieved 30 percent in groups, which somebody told me once put us in the top 1 percent of all churches in the U.S. — not too shabby.

The plan was for every group leader to indentify and train an apprentice leader. Then, once a year, the group would help a new group get started either by the leader starting a new group, the apprentice starting a new group, or the group dividing into two groups. With group multiplication and the new recruits I was inviting, we were on a good pace to double our groups or better every year. I looked forward to the day when group attendance would exceed worship attendance.

But, it started to feel like I needed another 100 years to catch up with the increasing size of the congregation.

Quick Recap:
Secret #1: Small Groups Connected Our People Like Never Before.
Secret #2: A Quality Group Experience Starts with Quality Leaders.
Secret #3: Don’t Skimp on Coaching and Training.

Where We Failed: Bottleneck!

Failure #1. The way we recruited leaders and launched groups couldn’t keep pace with the growth of the church.

The harder I tried to recruit more leaders and launch groups, the behinder and behinder I got. Some years we started 10 groups. Other years we started two groups. One year my training yielded zero new groups.

As the church continued to grow by 13 – 33% per year, our group formation just couldn’t keep up. More people were getting lost in the shuffle, and more leaders were not stepping up at the rate we needed them.

I thought I had a good thing going by recruiting well-known people myself. The problems were kept at a minimum. But, now we faced a much bigger problem — where were the leaders going to come from?

Failure #2: Our leaders couldn’t identify an apprentice leader.

I put a lot of pressure on the group leaders to identify and train their apprentice. After all, the future of our small groups depended on apprentices, or at least, that’s what it seemed like. In every huddle and every encounter with the group leaders, I would emphasize the significance of raising up an apprentice leader. My words didn’t fall on deaf ears. They fell on stressed ears.

My leaders would pass me in the hallways on Sunday morning and say, “I’m working on my apprentice.”

I thought, “Whatever happened to ‘Hello’?”

The apprentice strategy was going nowhere good.

Failure #3: No one wanted to give up their group to start a new group.

Since the group leaders weren’t recruiting apprentices, I took the initiative to recruit potential leaders right out of their groups. There were great candidates right under the noses of the group leaders, but they just didn’t see them. I did!

Before they knew it, the new recruits were in my Turbo Group and headed toward leading their own group. The only problem was that while these potential leaders agreed to participate out of loyalty to me and the church, their hearts weren’t in it. They didn’t want to give up the group they loved. They were torn.

After the six weeks of training was complete, instead of going forward with a new group, many of them went back to the group they came from. This wasn’t progress. This was regress. My efforts were actually working against me.

Failure #4: After seven years of effort, our groups were stuck…

While we had 30 percent of our adults in groups, and our church was allegedly in the top 1 percent of all churches in the U.S., I felt like a loser. The church continued to grow. The groups were stuck. No new leaders. No new groups. No apprentices. So, I gave up on this strategy.

At the end of my time at this church, 125 percent of our weekly adult attendance was connected in groups.

I want to share with you a new strategy we created to recruit more leaders, form more groups faster, and maintain a quality group experience.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

Three Priorities for Briefing New Group Leaders

By Allen White

Photo by hxdbzxy via 123rf.com

Photo by hxdbzxy via 123rf.com

The goal of every small group launch is recruiting new leaders and forming new groups. Maybe you are launching a church-wide campaign, a sermon-based series, or a variety of different types of groups, the commonality is getting a lot of new groups started very quickly. Whether you’ve chosen to lower the bar on leadership or to keep your requirements high, there are three priorities in briefing every new group leader. The establishment of these priorities will determine how many of these new groups continue.

Priority #1: Encourage Your New Leaders to Gather Their Own Groups.

The best way to determine the quality of new group leaders is by their ability to invite and gather their own group members. If they can gather their own groups, then more than likely they can keep their groups going. After all, the second best way to get into a group is by personal invitation.

While some small group pastors depend on church websites or signup cards to form groups, these methods are far inferior to personal invitation. I’ve served two churches over the last 25 years, a church of 1,500 in California and a church of 6,500 in South Carolina. Personal invitation worked best in both churches despite the size.

Groups of friends tend to outlast groups of strangers. Ask the new leaders to make a list of people they know who would enjoy the study. Have them pray over their list. Then, get them out there inviting.

Priority #2: Discourage Your New Leaders from Trying to Do Everything.

A lot goes into a group meeting — preparing and leading the discussion, cleaning a house, making a dessert, arranging childcare, reminding group members about the meeting, and there’s more still. If you’ve successfully recruited a bunch of co-dependent, “Martha-type” leaders, then they will very quickly burn themselves out in serving the group. If you don’t have a leader, then you don’t have a group. So much for all of that hard work on Priority #1…

Give the new leaders a chart listing the group meetings and the group responsibilities including all that were mentioned in the previous paragraph. Then, instruct your new recruits to inform the group that everyone is expected to sign up for something. If they ask, “Would anyone like to…?” The answer is an unequivocal “No!” But, if it’s expected of the group, then the group members will sign up and share responsibilities. Not only do you keep the new leaders from burning out, you can also identify potential leaders in the group.

Priority #3: Introduce Every Group Leader to His/Her Coach.

The Coach is the new group leader’s lifeline. Without a coach, probably 30 percent of your new groups won’t even get started. How do I know? It happened to me when I started hundreds of new groups at a time. Then, you’ll lose another 30 percent after the campaign, because things came up they didn’t know how to deal with. That means only 4 out of 10 new groups will make it. It’s progress, but it’s not what it could be with a coach in the leader’s life.

Every new leader will face discouragement at some point. Some will struggle inviting group members. Others will face nights when half of the group doesn’t show up. Some will get stumped by a member they won’t know how to deal with. An experienced leader coaching a new leader will go a long way in resolving these issues and keeping the group moving forward.

One last thought.

A group leader briefing should be BRIEF! People don’t like meetings. Make the briefing convenient and brief. Whether it’s 15 minutes after a weekend service or a video you’ve posted online, think of what your new leaders need to succeed and not everything you could tell them.

If these are your three priorities to guide your new group leaders, you should have closer to 8 out of 10 new groups continue, if you offer them a next step.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

COMING SOON

Are you ready for your Fall Group Launch?

If you’re not sure your launch plan will help you reach your goals, schedule a time with Allen White to help you think through where to go this Fall. Whether you need a few tweaks or a complete overhaul, Allen will guide you through the steps you need to launch Exponential Groups this Fall.

Find out more at: allenwhite.org/checkup

 

7 Comments

Invest in Yourself This Summer

By Allen White

Leading an Exponential Group Launch

After spending the year pouring into others, often we get to Summer and dream of a tropical paradise. For more of us, that tropical paradise amounts to a week in Myrtle Beach. (There are better places to vacation in South Carolina, but as a resident for nine years now, I’m not allowed to tell you, especially if you’re from Ohio.)

Let’s face it for those of us overseeing discipleship and small group ministries in a church, Summer is really sort of an annual sabbatical for us in a way. After that week of vacation, what do we do? Sure we pitch in at VBS or youth camp. We might lead a mission trip or speak on a weekend or two. But, often we have more discretionary time in the Summer than in most other times of the year. What you invest in yourself now could make a huge difference this Fall.

Now that you have six weeks of your “sabbatical” remaining, here are a few thought about making your time productive and your Fall awesome.

Read.

I learned a long time ago that leaders are readers. Here’s the great news: you have time to read. Whether you prefer printed books, ebooks, or audio books, there is time to read. If you can’t find time to sit down and read for 20 minutes during the day, then download an audio book to listen when you travel to and from the office. My Summer commute is all of 12 minutes, but I can get 24 minutes of listening time in every day, which is two hours per week. When we multiply that by 6 weeks, we just found 12 hours of reading time this Summer.

Most of us don’t have hours to read during the day, but if we put in another 20 minutes, we could probably cover at least a chapter a day. Our lives are too short to make all of the mistakes and learn all of the hard lessons ourselves. So, cheat. Learn from other people mistakes and hard lessons. Here are a few books I’ve either just read or am reading this Summer.

Contagious by Jonah Berger. A professor at the Wharton School of Business discovers the best approaches and appeals to marketing. With great stories like the $100 Philly Cheese Steak and a Youtube sensation called “Will It Blend?” the author will take you through the six key areas of effective promotion. As you think about promoting your small groups this Fall, you will uncover some interesting thoughts from Berger about what to present and how to make it work.

Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley. This is Andy Stanley’s “Gentlemen, this is a football” speech. Starting with the incredible stories of the inauspicious beginnings of North Point Community Church and challenging the church to be the church, Stanley delivers a solid whack on the side of the head.

Small Groups for the Rest of Us by Chris Surratt. My friend, Chris, released this book last year. He offers a unique approach to groups in an approachable and transferable way. So many small group models just don’t work other places. Chris’ thoughts will work in churches large and small.

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. As pastors we are focused on fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. But, often we spend our days spinning our wheels and crying out to God for direction. While we should never be presumptuous about our own plans, the reality is if we don’t have a plan, then not very much gets accomplished. Living Forward helps you plan ahead for every aspect of your life. It’s not about getting rich quick or reaching the pinnacle of success as much as it’s about planning to give every area of your life what it needs when it needs it. How do you know how to do that? You have a plan.

Take an Online Course.

My book won’t be out until January 2017, so I can’t recommend it yet. But, if you’d like to see the first chapter, you can download it here: allenwhite.org/ebook. What I can offer you is my six session online course called Leading an Exponential to Group Launch. In this course you will learn proven strategies of set goals and make a plan, recruit leaders, develop a coaching structure, form groups, and get your groups to continue. This is a downloadable resource which includes six 45-60 minute talks along with the slide deck and some great downloadable templates, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you would like to invest in a a live, in-person coaching relationship, I am starting a new six month coaching group this month. For more details, contact info@allenwhite.org
Take some time for yourself. Fall will be here before you know it. If you don’t have time to invest in yourself this Summer, well, then you have some things to learn.
What do you plan to differently this Fall than before? Leave your response below.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Double Your Groups This Fall

By Allen White 

If your church is like most churches, you’ve tried everything you know to do to start groups and you have about 30 percent (or maybe 50 percent) of your adults in groups. You’ve often wondered…

If only my groups would develop an apprentice leader…

If only my Senior Pastor would get serious about promoting groups…

If only my groups would become unselfish and multiply/divide/give birth…

If only we could close the backdoor to our church…

If only we had more groups leaders to start groups…

You’ve read books. You’ve attended conferences. You’ve learned from the best and the brightest, but the lingering question is WHY DID IT WORK FOR THEM BUT IT’S NOT WORKING FOR ME? You are one well-educated and overly-frustrated person.

How do I know?

This is exactly what I was experiencing 12 years ago, then my groups DOUBLED in one day.

You can avoid the frustration. You can double your groups this Fall with all of the leaders you need and with all of the support your leaders need. What I would like to share with you are the six essential strategies I have learned over the last 25 years of ministry. My ceiling can become your floor!

Here’s the best part: You can customize the strategies to work in your church. You may decide to require more or less of leaders than others. That’s okay. We can still double your groups. Your church might create your own curriculum, or you might not. That’s okay. We can still double your groups. You may have tried large scale group launches before with mixed results. That’s okay. We can still double your groups.

Beginning Wednesday, July 13 at 1:30pm Eastern/10:30am Pacific, we will walk together on a six week journey to lay the groundwork for you to DOUBLE YOUR GROUPS THIS FALL.

Week 1: Setting God-Sized Goals and Making a Plan to Double Your Groups.

Week 2: Recruiting Your Launch Team and Finding the Help You Need to Double Your Groups.

Week 3: Recruiting the Group Leaders You Need to Double Your Groups.

Week 4: Connecting Your People into Groups.

Week 5: Coaching Your New Group Leaders.

Week 6: Training Your New Group Leaders.

Each week will consist of a 60 minute group coaching session with churches from across the country. You will receive both training and interaction in each session as well as practical tools to help you double your groups. From timelines to templates, you will have what you need to lay the groundwork for doubling your groups.

To hear more, join one of three Live Webinars This Week: allenwhite.org/webinars

If you’re ready to jump in to the Course: allenwhite.org/double

, , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Double Your Groups This Fall – Live Course

DOUBLE YOUR GROUPS THIS FALL DOUBLEYOUR GROUPSTHIS FAll

Live Online Course with Allen White

If your church is like most churches, you’ve tried everything you know to do to start groups and you have about 30 percent (or maybe 50 percent) of your adults in groups. You’ve often wondered…

If only my groups would develop an apprentice leader…

If only my Senior Pastor would get serious about promoting groups…

If only my groups would become unselfish and multiply/divide/give birth…

If only we could close the backdoor to our church…

If only we had more groups leaders to start groups...

You’ve read books. You’ve attended conferences. You’ve learned from the best and the brightest, but the lingering question is WHY DID IT WORK FOR THEM BUT IT’S NOT WORKING FOR ME? You are one well-educated and overly-frustrated person.

How do I know?

This is exactly what I was experiencing 12 years ago, then my groups DOUBLED in one day.

You can avoid the frustration. You can double your groups this Fall with all of the leaders you need and with all of the support your leaders need. What I would like to share with you are the six essential strategies I have learned over the last 25 years of ministry. My ceiling can become your floor!

Here’s the best part: You can customize the strategies to work in your church. You may decide to require more or less of leaders than others. That’s okay. We can still double your groups. Your church might create your own curriculum, or you might not. That’s okay. We can still double your groups. You may have tried large scale group launches before with mixed results. That’s okay. We can still double your groups.

Beginning Wednesday, July 13 at 1:30pm Eastern/10:30am Pacific, we will walk together on a six week journey to lay the groundwork for you to DOUBLE YOUR GROUPS THIS FALL.

Week 1: Setting God-Sized Goals and Making a Plan to Double Your Groups.

Week 2: Recruiting Your Launch Team and Finding the Help You Need to Double Your Groups.

Week 3: Recruiting the Group Leaders You Need to Double Your Groups.

Week 4: Connecting Your People into Groups.

Week 5: Coaching Your New Group Leaders.

Week 6: Training Your New Group Leaders.

Each week will consist of a 60 minute group coaching session with churches from across the country. You will receive both training and interaction in each session as well as practical tools to help you double your groups. From timelines to templates, you will have what you need to lay the groundwork for doubling your groups.

Four Options to Double Your Groups This Fall:

Option 1: The six weekly group meetings: $497.00

Option 2: The six weekly group meetings with 2 one on one consultations: $797.00

Option 3: The six weekly group meetings, 2 consultations, and a churchwide assessment: $1,297.00

Option 4: A SIX MONTH Coaching Group with two monthly group meetings, one monthly one on one meeting, and the churchwide assessment plus all of the information from the Double Your Groups This Fall Live Course: $1,497.00

PURCHASE


Online Course Options




 

Leave a Comment

Free eBook: Exponential Groups

Join our mailing list to receive Allen's latest thoughts on small groups.

You have Successfully Subscribed!