Showing items filed under “October 2017”

How to Communicate more Effectively to your Small Group, Part 2

Last week we began a series of posts about "How to Communicate more Effectively to your Small Group" and we shared some tips on the mode of communication that we have found to be the most effective. This week, we want to delve further into this topic by looking at a crucial element of the communication process–building a relational connection.

John Maxwell, who is one of the premier leadership experts in the country wrote in his book, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect" that building a connection with people, "is essential for anyone who wants to build great relationships..." How do we do that? Here are some tips for building a connection with the people in your Small Group.

Tip #1 - Make a connection with new group members quickly. As a Small Group leader one of our roles is to make people feel welcomed and loved. This needs to start the moment that they sign-up for a Small Group! The longer that we wait to connect with people, the more doubt and fear can creep into their minds which may cause them to bail on attending a Small Group.

Tip #2 - Go out of your way to make new group members feel welcome. It is really easy in the course of leading your group meeting that you forget to connect with new members. Make it a point of emphasis that whenever you have new members at your group meeting you take time to talk to them, and begin to build a relationship with them. This can be as simple as just asking them a few questions like "tell me how long you have been attending Parkway?" If you wanted to go a step farther, invite them to have lunch after church.

The biggest take-away from failing to make a connection with people in our Small Groups is, we run the risk of them not engaging at a relationship level. This can cause them to turn away from being involved in a Small Group at all! Once people have made their minds up that Small Groups are not a place where I feel accepted and welcome, it's really hard to change their mind. It's imperative that we do all that we can as leaders to connect with people relationally, which will be the foundation for us to communicate effectively.

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How to Communicate more Effectively to your Small Group, Part 1

Last week we looked at the question that we are most often asked as Small Group Pastor's 'how can I get more people to join my group?' This week we wanted to focus on the second most asked question that we get as Small Group Pastor's 'why are people not coming to my group or responding to my emails?' Communicating important information to your Small Group is one of your most important roles as the leader. We know from experience that when people are 'out of the loop' or miss an important piece of communication from their group leader, they become frustrated and it gives them a reason to bail on Small Group.

We want to help you better communicate with your Small Group! Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be sharing some tips on how  you can communicate more effectively with your Small Group. 

  • Tip #1 - Avoid send it and forget it communication! There use to be a time, not that long ago, when sending an email to someone was all the communication that you needed. Unfortunately, that time as come and gone as less and less people are checking their personal email. Email has become something that is associated with work or filed with spam, so people are not reading it consistently. You cannot rely on just sending one email and expecting that people will read it. If you send an email, follow up with a text or better yet, a phone call. 
  • Tip #2 - Text instead of email. Many people have moved exclusively to texting instead of email for communication. We have found that people will respond to a text message before they will respond to emails. 
  • Tip #3 - Technology is your friend. There are a number of great tools available to help you communicate with your group. These include:
    • GroupMe - a free messaging app for group texts
    • Facebook Messenger - a free messaging app that you do not have to be on Facebook to use
    • Band - a free app that you can use to organize and communicate with your group.
    • Your texting app on your mobile device - Whether you are using Android or Apple, you can create group text threads to communicate with your group.

Communicating more effectively starts with understanding how people converse today and that is almost exclusively through texts, DM's, and PM's. Next week we will look at some ways that you can lay a foundation for effective communication through the entire semester.

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