You can help a new group get off the ground by launching at the right time. Some seasons will be more advantageous than others. Think through your community and church calendars to find the best seasons to start a new group.

Launch when people are around.

Take note of times when people in your community are typically out of town or highly engaged in competing activities. Maybe people go camping or travel a lot in the summer, or spend a lot of time hunting in the fall. There are often a lot of time demands on people during December. Depending on your church and community, times like that may not be good times to spin off a new group because you will be working against the calendar.

[Related Topic: Strategic Times to Invite]

Give time to build momentum.

Give a new group enough time to get started and build a good foundation. If people are gone a lot during summer, don’t start on May 1. Just as the group is getting settled, attendance will suddenly become sporadic. For this reason, it may be good to launch a new group in mid-fall, in January, or in mid-spring.

Capitalize on spiritual interest.

Interest in spiritual things is higher at certain times of year. This may include Christmas, Easter, and the start of a school year. If your church has a large Easter attendance, you could take advantage of that by making Easter a prime invitational opportunity for a new group.

Be part of a church-wide campaign.

Many churches link their small groups to a focused sermon series as a way to increase interest and involvement. This boosts small group attendance by inviting everyone in the church to participate for a set time, such as 4 to 6 weeks. The surge of attendance, even though it may be temporary, creates a good opportunity to jump start a new group. If your church has not done a campaign, ask your leaders to consider it.

[Related Topic: Launching Small Groups through a Church-Wide Campaign]

As your group gets ready to reproduce a new group, take time to think about the seasons and rhythms of life in your community and church. There may not be a perfect time to launch, but some times are clearly better than others.


Submit questions

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Identify the times of the year when people in your community are very busy or gone a lot.
  4. What seasons of the year offer the best opportunity for new groups to gain momentum, and why?
  5. What times of year draw forth the most spiritual interest in your community? Explain.
  6. Considering all these factors, when would you conclude are the top three times of year to launch a new group?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.