3 Ways Your LIFE Group Can Take Advantage of the Fall Attendance Boost

By Jay Fennell

Historically, the summer season is the lowest attended time of the year for church activities. Travel, vacation, camps, etc. all make for sporadic and lower attendance, even among the most committed church attenders. But as the fall season rolls around and school starts back, people begin settling into routines and adding a bit more normalcy to their calendars. The fall is a time of the year where people begin making church attendance a priority again, and it becomes a great opportunity for LIFE Groups to reach out to those families who are looking to connect.
Let me give you three easy ways that you can leverage this season to reach more people and grow your LIFE Group.

  1. Participate in Group Connect or a LIFE Group connection event that your campus provides. These events typically give one or more days of heavy attention to LIFE Groups.  They are events that speak to the value of group life, encourage those who are unconnected to find a group, and provide easy on-ramps for them to plug in. Participating in these events allows you to promote your group, meet new people and develop new relationships. It’s a win-win.
  2. Reach out to absentees. Who are the people on your group role you haven’t seen in a while? This season provides a great opportunity to reach out to absentees and invite them back to your group. It typically happens that folks are thinking about returning anyway but indecisive and then receive the call from someone in their group that expresses a desire to have them back. It’s exactly what they needed to make the decision to return. Don’t let them fall through the cracks. Instead, be warm and intentional and tell them they’re missed.
  3. Use worship venues to recruit new people.  Tell me if I’m correct: you normally sit in the same seat, in the same service every Sunday. And you know the people that sit around you. You may not know their names but you know their faces because they sit in the same place every Sunday also. But from time to time you see a new face, someone you’ve never seen in that section before. Chances are they’re visiting. In those moments, be brave, introduce yourself and invite them to join you in LIFE Group.

I had a story like that come across my desk just recently. A guest was noticed by a LIFE Group leader and was invited to his group. That guest was so grateful and impressed that he sent me an email to express his gratitude.
Ultimately, our primary goal isn’t merely to grow our LIFE Groups numerically. Rather, our desire as leaders is to lead people toward Christlikeness, and to do that in community with others who are going in the same direction. But as a part of that, we must at all times be intentional about helping more people connect in those environments so they can experience the love of Jesus, through His people, and for His glory.

5 Common Mistakes LIFE Group Leaders Make

By Jay Fennell

1. They Don’t Set Realistic Goals

It’s easy to become complacent and not establish goals for your LIFE Group. Goals give direction, focus and clarity. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

  • What are your goals for “Loving One Another?”
  • What are your goals for “Involving Ourselves in Community?”
  • What are your goals for “Focusing on God’s Word?”
  • What are your goals for “Engaging the World?”

2. They Make Fellowship the Most Important Aspect

Building fellowship among group members is vitally important to the success and health of the group, but it cannot be the only purpose. If it is, the group will gradually become self-focused, neglecting the call to grow as disciples and also “seek and save the lost.” The purpose of Christian fellowship is to encourage and support one another on the journey toward Christlikeness, not just to make friends and have fun.

3. They Don’t Develop Themselves

If the leader isn’t growing spiritually, how can he expect his group to grow spiritually? He can only give out of the overflow of what God has given him. If the leader isn’t developing new leadership skills, he isn’t serving his group well.

4. They Don’t Promote Life Together Through the Week

If the weekly gatherings are the only time group members interact and connect with each other, then they will not be positioned to grow and serve together. The key is to help people move from independence to interdependence. From isolation to inclusion. When group members are in each other’s lives through the week, you know you’re heading toward healthiness.

5. They Don’t Shepherd Their Group Members

Leading a group is more than just teaching the Bible. It’s also about walking with people through life’s mountains and valleys, sharing your life, and taking partial responsibility to see group members grow toward a Christ-centered life. (1 Thess 2:8) Are your group members more like Christ today than last year? Last month? Last week?