Small groups are often the glue that keep people in a church community connected—especially in large churches. But managing everything from meeting locations to group attendance can become tedious and time consuming. Try these tips to simplify your small group process by making creative use of technology:
Make it easy for people to find the right small group and get signed up. If the process is simple and convenient, more people will get involved.
Station kiosks within your church so people can quickly connect with a small group after the Sunday morning service.
- Website Portal
Allow people to log into a member portal on your church website where they can update their information, give, and even join a small group. Include a map feature on the small group search so they can find one close to home. Leaders can also use this tool to share links to study materials and location details. Make sure it’s easy to navigate so people don’t get frustrated and leave your website without getting connected with a group.
Whether on your church’s mobile app or a smartphone-friendly sign-up through your website, adjust to the shift toward mobile and allow people to find a small group on the technology that’s always by their side.
Small group leaders can log into the website portal to enter attendance records from each meeting rather than jotting down names in a notebook. If your church utilizes a check-insystem for nursery, this same technology can help you quickly and easily manage attendance for your small groups.
Run reports to find out how many of your people are involved and regularly attending a small group—this is crucial information for pastors and staff trying to gauge the spiritual growth and discipleship of their members. You can set goals for the percentage of people participating in a small group and monitor those statistics.
4. Mass communication
Rather than rushing to make phone calls to 15 people when you have to cancel this week’s small group, contact everyone immediately through mass communication tools. Shoot a quick text with last minute information or send an email to all participants so they know what to bring to the next meeting. Always consider a few important factors—who you’re trying to reach, what the message is, and when they need to know the information—to determine the best method of communicating with your small group.
5. Integrated ChMS
An integrated church management software will incorporate all of these features and provide you with some great insight when planning for future small groups. If you’re taking full advantage of the software, you can use the information you’ve collected to find new people to lead small groups based on their gifts and the ministry roles they’ve served in the past. You can also reference notes to choose topics that match the needs of your people—if you find that several people are struggling with addiction, it may be a good focus for a small group.