When doing a church-wide campaign the most important responsibility of the small group pastor is the recruiting of group hosts and group members. Without small group members there’s no need for small group leaders. Without small group leaders there’s no group for members to meet with.
Recruiting small group hosts may not be as difficult as you might imagine. If you’re a small group pastor you’ll want to be certain you don’t anticipate the same abilities or expectations of ongoing small group leaders as you do short-term small group campaign hosts.
Keep in mind…
- They are hosts, not small group leaders
- If they can push a button and/or read questions from a sheet of paper they can host
- They do not have to be spiritually mature to host a group
- They do not need much training. The less amount of time they have to commit to training experiences the easier it will be to recruit hosts.
There are five necessities when recruiting Small Group campaign hosts.
1. Vision Casting… Casting a vision, recruiting small group hosts
Nothing is more vital to the recruitment of passionate hosts than a compelling vision. The vision should be cast by the senior pastor. Vision casting should include how these groups are going to affect the community, the church, and each individual’s life, the importance of each person being in a group as well as the need for group hosts. While casting vision for this campaign, the senior pastor should tell how many groups the church has at present and how many groups the church hopes to have during the campaign. The senior leadership should let the church know that almost anyone will be a good host and how and where possible hosts can get their questions answered and sign up to host a group.
2. One-on-Ones… the Small Group Pastor recruiting small group hosts through one-on-one conversations
Tell possible hosts…
- the vision of the church leadership
- why this is important in the church’s strategy for accomplishing her vision
- they are not long-term leaders, they are short-term hosts
- they are not expected to shepherd the group only lead the group meeting each week
- they are not going to be responsible for enlisting an apprentice or multiplying the group
- this is short-term responsibility with long-term and eternal significance
- how, when, and where to sign up to be a host
3. Pooling… Seeking out hosts from pre-existing groups
- Enlist key leaders to host groups early in the recruitment process. When speaking with others about hosting groups being able to say that the senior pastor, staff members, elders, etc… are going to host a group, will encourage others to consider leading one themselves.
- Ask each small group leader and apprentice presently leading a group to host a group.
- Speak to small group leaders and find out which people in their group would consider hosting a group. Contact these individuals as soon as possible.
- Ask Sunday School teachers to consider hosting a group as well as asking them who is in their Sunday School class that they think might be able to host a group. Contact these individuals as soon as possible.
4. Removing Insecurity… Helping possible hosts know that they are capable
- Answer any questions possible hosts may have. Be available in the hallway, the church lobby, etc… Set up a table where future hosts can ask questions as well as sign up to be hosts. Do this from the time the senior leadership makes the first announcement about the campaign until the campaign begins.
- During weekend services or after Sunday service have “possible host” meetings. Tell possible hosts what their responsibilities will be, how many weeks the campaign will last, and answer any questions they may have.
- Allow hosts from campaigns past to tell their story. Be sure these video or live testimonials include real endings to the following statements…
1) I didn’t think I was capable but…
2) I didn’t think I was knowledgeable enough but…
3) I didn’t think I had the time but…
4) I didn’t think anyone would want to come to my group but…
5) I didn’t think I would have the time to clean and be ready for the group to come but…
6) I didn’t think I could lead the conversation but…
7) I thought I’d have to do everything but…
8) I had thought about being a small group leader before but knew I couldn’t do an ongoing group. The campaign made it possible for me to host a group without having to become an ongoing small group leader.
5. Securing a Commitment… Attaining a “Yes” to the yes or no question.
- Ask possible hosts to commit or turn you down verbally. Saying yes to you knowing you’re going to stroke them for taking on this responsibility and those who are on the bubble are much more apt to say yes knowing they don’t want to disappoint. Phone or face-to-face is fine.
- Calling individuals personally rather than asking them to call you is much more effective.
- Be sure to set up a table or create a booth space in close proximity to the worship center where people can sign up to be hosts.
- Allow your small group leaders and Sunday School teachers to accept a commitment from those in their groups who are considering group leadership. Be sure to call the person whose name has been passed to you by the leader or Sunday School teacher. There may have been a miscommunication.