How did your last connection event go? In addition to all the new small groups that you started new leaders discovered and and many people connected what else did you learn?

We have been doing some kind of connection event since January 2006.  Each time we will see many families connected to a small group as well as several new groups start.  But we also learned that of those who sign up to join a certain group, approximately 30% of them will never show up at a home for group. This was an alarming discovery.  Several options may contribute to this stat: only one spouse participates in the GroupLink event; the apprentice is representing the leader at the GroupLink table; participants are unfamiliar with the community; the wife fears ‘cats’ or any other host home situations that she is not aware of, etc.

We make slight adjustments to each new connection even with major adjustments coming each year to GroupLink.  So, with this new info, we decided to talk with other Small Group Pastors and came up with another adaptation (NOT Adoption) of a plan.    In analyzing the no-show stats, Ben Reed (blogs here) and I came up with a combination event.  This year we will help those who sign up at the ‘job-fair’ type GroupLInk event on Sunday mornings by hosting a GroupLink party on Sunday evening at the church.

This event will last a couple of hours and look a lot like a Small Group home experience, but on neutral turf, familiar for everyone.  This will give people the time to get to know each other and increase the relationship and ask the questions which concerns them.   We will have Bible study questions to discuss as well.  Then near the end we will allow them to plan the location and time for their next meeting.

again I have to say stay tuned….for we are all on a journey.