Anyone that has flown in an airplane probably knows that the bigger the plane the longer the runway must be for a successful take-off. The same goes for landing the plane. You don’t want to be on a 747 trying to take-off or land on a football field sized runway.
Big important projects, events, and campaigns take a longer “runway” as well. This year we are asking Oklahoma Baptists to partner on a major campaign to start new groups. It is called the Reconnect START Campaign. Although the actual campaign does not begin until September 7, there are a number of important things on the “runway” leading up this fall that are critical to having a successful take-off or launch for your new groups.
Here is a quick overview of the START Campaign. Following posts will go into more depth on what a church needs to get done during each phase of the campaign.
We have divided the START Campaign into three (3) phases: Ready, Set, START.
This is the prayer and inform phase. Sunday, January was our statewide Day of Prayer for New Groups. If you missed it… well it is still not too late to pray! You can get some “Pray for New Groups” bulletin inserts through my office. But this is also the “inform” phase. People (read – church members) need information! To help with this issue, we are conducting a statewide “ReConnect START Road Trip” across our state in March and April. We will be coming to as many associations as we can, so be sure your association reserves a date for the Road Trip this spring.
During the “Set” part of the campaign, churches begin preparing to start new groups on September 7. To assist with this preparation, the BGCO has put together a Bible study about new groups called, “Needed: New Groups”. Both a leader guide and a participant guide is available from the BGCO beginning March 1. We encourage churches to teach this Bible study in their Sunday School or small groups on April 27. Contact my office for this Bible study.
Also during the “Set” part of the campaign, the church will need to begin enlisting people to be leaders for new groups. Part of the Needed: New Groups Bible study includes a perforated tear out for group members to communicate their willingness to either lead, help start, and/or pray for new groups. This communication piece will be a valuable aid to help church leader identify people that are already willing to become a new group leader.
START Campaign begins
START a New Group Day
September 7 is New Groups Day! Start as many new groups in your church as you can. These new groups can be on-campus Sunday School groups or off-campus groups in homes. The main idea is that they be an ongoing group, not a 6 week discipleship group.
Soulwinning Commitment Day
October 5 is Soulwinning Commitment Day! This day will include an opportunity for group members learn a Gospel presentation in their group Bible study. During corporate worship, group members will be asked to commit to pray for the salvation of 3 lost friends during the month of October.
November 3 is Connection Day! Group members are encouraged to invite the three lost friends that they prayed for during the month of October to come to church with them on this day. It will be a great day as groups are full of new people. Pastors are especially encouraged to preach the Gospel and provide a clear invitation to people to receive Christ.
Your church probably needs to tune-up its outreach. During the 10 weeks of the START Campaign (September 7 – November 8), put together an Outreach Burst to visit recent guests, people that have visited your church in the past, and inactive church members that could probably use a ministry visit. It is only for 10 weeks. Even if it is only the pastor and the leader of the new group you started on September 7, that’s enough!
In other posts this week, I will be providing further information and also a behind the scenes strategic look at what we are doing in the ReConnect START Campaign.
While you’re here, click this link and check out a great online training strategy for your Sunday School and small group leaders at www.reconnectss.com.