In a large church, it’s difficult for pastors to establish deep, personal relationships with every member of the church. You also want to give your flock opportunities for worship and fellowship outside of Sundays. Small groups are the perfect way to expand your congregation’s relationship with the church, its members, and God.
Creating engaging, sustainable, and valued small groups require planning, especially with a large congregation where people may not know each other to form groups organically. Several factors should be considered when building small groups. For example, Which members are in proximity to each other? Are there common interests or attributes that should be accounted for? MissionInsite, ACS Technologies’ community analysis tool, provides everything you need to build out your small groups.
First, you need to upload your active member information into MissionInsite. This will allow you to do two key things: plot your people so you can see where they are geographically and identify core demographics and interest areas.
Plotting Your People
MissionInsite mapping tools provide a visualization of where your members live, allowing you to identify target locations for small groups. Perhaps you have a large population of congregants in a suburban neighborhood thirty minutes from your church and driving to the main campus is not ideal during the week. MissionInsite allows you to see population groupings so you can determine where small groups make sense and view drive times for congregants from any location. Using this information, determine if another campus or hosting at a member’s home in the area is a better option.
Building Out Your Groups
Now that you know where groups may be held, you need to ensure potential members are a fit for one another. Small groups become extended families where people share their struggles, comfort one another, and support each other so it’s vital they share things in common. For example, the issues and interests of young parents are quite different from those of retired empty nesters.
The ExecutiveInsite Report includes lifestyle information about people in an area broken down by Mosaic categories. Mosaic data, powered by Experian, segments people into groups based on income, demographics, household information, work-life, and so much more. The Mosaic data will show you which members are most like each other so you can create a group built to thrive.
MissionInsite will help you build strong groups, develop and deepen relationships among your congregants or parishioners. It allows God to be present in the day-to-day lives of your people, and take the pressure off your pastors.
To learn more about how MissionInsite can help you with small groups. Check out Tom Bandy’s whitepaper on How to Use MissionInsite for Small Group Ministry.
Whitney joined ACS Technologies in 2017 and is a Senior Product Marketing Manager in the market department. Prior to ACST, Whitney worked at Blackbaud for 11 years in various roles focusing on churches and other non-profits.
Big Church Made Small: Make Everyone Feel Known
Being a larger church does create more opportunities, but it also creates more ways for people to get lost. People should feel known at church. Our latest resource, Big Church Made Small: Make Everyone Feel Known shows a path you and your team can follow. And, to make it even easier and so you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources, you can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!