Do You Have A Plan?

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It’s the beginning of April, and for most churches that means activity for small groups is beginning to slow down. Spring break for schools is over. The post-Easter attendance slide into summer is starting to commence.

Your groups may not be stopping, but they are shifting gears for the hectic late spring and summer months. This time is a great opportunity for groups point people to spend some time working on the ministry—not just in it. We need these opportunities to shift, realign, and refresh our systems.

Here is a list of five ideas and questions that you should start thinking about to prepare for the next season in groups.

1. Lock in the theme for the fall alignment series.

Start meeting with the teaching pastors now to see where God is leading them to take the church in the fall. What can we creatively do with groups around the teaching theme?

2. Refresh your leader’s training for new leaders in the fall semester.

It may be time to revisit how you train your new leaders. Has the culture shifted since you last built your training? Are there more effective ways to deliver the information?

3. Build your curriculum map for groups after the fall alignment series.

Start thinking now about the next step for groups after the fall alignment series. allows you to easily design a discipleship map for your groups to follow. Where do you want groups to grow spiritually? What is a natural transition from your alignment theme?

4. Ask current group leaders to identify possible new leaders from their groups for the fall.

Now is the time to start identifying the new leaders for the fall push. Your best recruitment will come from existing leaders tapping their group members on the shoulder. How can we help our current leaders identify and commission new hosts and leaders ?

5. Identify and start recruiting new coaches.

If you are planning on growing your groups (and I hope that you are), you are going to need coaches to help care for all of the newly recruited leaders and hosts. Now is the time to start having those conversations. Recruiting effective coaches takes time and patience. Which current leaders would be a natural fit for coaching other leaders? Are there any former leaders who not currently leading a group but would be great at caring for other leaders?

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About the author

Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with more than twenty years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Teams at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN., and Seacoast Church in Charleston, S.C., prior to becoming the Discipleship and Small Groups Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is the author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes.