Growing a connect group doesn't have to be as difficult as herding cats. In fact, some people don't even find herding cats difficult. They are talented cat whisperers indeed.
For the rest of us, check out some tips from Alex Farncomb, Marketing Coordinator at C3 College and all-around great guy.
These are some tips I used recently to help our Young Adult connect leaders grow their connect group. My personal belief is that the fundamental purpose of any connect group (or cell group) is for it to multiply. The multiplication of connect groups means to see a solitary connect group turn into 2, 3, 4 or even more connect groups. This requires more leaders, more new people and therefore helps to grow and build the church.
So here are 6 tips to grow your connect group and thus getting it ready for multiplication.
1. You must have a vision.
What’s the end result of your connect group? Once you know your goal, you can reverse engineer from there to where you are. What I mean by that is work backwards from your goal. If your goal is 12 people, how did you get from 11 to 12? From 10-11? If you don't have a vision or goal that you're reaching for, then you'll find it very difficult to move forward.
2. Communicate the vision.
Every connect group I start, I spend the first meeting communicating to everyone that this exists to be multiplied. It sets the expectation. It’s a good thing to multiply. It’s a healthy thing to multiply. As a group, we want to multiply.
This alleviates a lot of tension as you gear up towards multiplication. A lot of people resist change because it’s new. But if talk about multiplying has been regular in your connect group, then it’s not as much of a surprise to people.
Our people know we need to multiply. Some people will bring up their concerns about multiplication. Don't pander to the fears of your followers. Speak faith!
Bring everyone's attention back to the vision! Talk about it as the most natural thing that could ever happen. We shouldn’t apologise for success. We shouldn’t apologise for the great commission.
3. Make it yours.
The less you need to force yourself to run a connect group, the more likely it is to grow. So keep it natural. What kind of connect group would you attend? What are your strengths?
I like studying the bible – it comes natural to me. It’s easy for me to exegete a passage of scripture. I also love prophesying. So I make room for that too. And that’s my connect group. I don’t usually spend more than 30 minutes of preparation for it because it’s a very natural thing for me.
What's natural for you?
What do you enjoy doing?
Your answers to those questions will be a great indication of the kind of connect group you should run.
4. Invite anyone.
How do you do that?
Pretty simple really...
Are you in a connect group? No? Ok, come to mine.
5. Don't put all the expectation on yourself.
Since you've shared the vision of the connect group, you're able to empower everyone in the connect group to take responsibility for achieving the vision. They bring friends. They invite people. They look out for new people.
And your people will do it. I have only directly invited 5 people to my connect group but have probably had at least 15 guys attend this year. This is because the boys in my group have done a brilliant job at carrying the vision of the connect group and have invited their friends. They know that it's not just my responsibility to grow this connect group, it's everyone's.
6. Remember that you're making disciples.
This is why growing your connect group is so important. You're increasing the amount of disciples that you're making for Jesus Christ. Intentionally and personally investing yourself into the development of your people enables the growth of your connect group.
I make time for the guys who I think are serious about growing and developing. I would probably have 6 coffees a fortnight with 6 different guys, helping them with their relationship with God, their relationships with others and their relationship with me. It’s producing great results. It costs me time and sleep-ins, but it’s worth it.
Catch up with your people. Group settings are great, but if you make time and space for people, they’ll appreciate it. I don’t have stats on it, but I can tell you that the people you individually catch up with are far more likely to attend church, attend connect group and respond to your vision. They realise you care.
There you have it, my 6 tips for growing your connect group. I would love to hear your thoughts on how to grow your connect group, be they contrary or complementary to my own.
For more thoughts on life and ministry from Alex, head to his website.