Fall is a crazy time of year for ministries: it’s back to school and back to church. Fall is also a key season for small groups, kicking off new communities, classes and gatherings. Here’s how to use your app to make the most of your small group launch.

1. Group Finder

Start autumn off right: make your app the registration hub for your small groups. On our newly redesigned small group finder feature, users begin with the group list, browse through small groups, get access to more information, register for the group and contact the leader. This redesign showcases the variety of connection options your church offers. It’s especially helpful for those who are new to your church and may not know where to start. From newcomers to those who have been with your church from day one, it’s a more intuitive approach. Plus, the group finder and in-app registration sets the tone for how integral the app is in the small group experience.

2. Organized Materials

From agendas to discussion guides to calendars, small groups have quite the collection of documents. Printed versions are misplaced and easily forgotten. Set your small groups up for meaningful conversations and make sure they don’t miss a thing by loading all the materials they need on the app. It’s the perfect central location. It also shows your members that your app is the hub for everything happening in your church and drives them to greater mobile interaction.

3. Leader Promotional How-Tos

Your people look up to your leaders — so make the most of this relationship. At their first meeting of the season, leaders should talk to their group members about the app, share with them why it’s helpful and how to use it. Make it a hands-on conversation: members can pull out their mobile devices and download together, then walk through the features together. Everyone will leave empowered and excited to engage with the app.

4. Group Push Notifications

In the Aware3 app, you can send push notifications to everyone who has opted into receiving them. But when it comes to information that impacts only a specific group of people, targeted notifications are the way to go. Create groups in your Aware3 profile and let people know that they can sign up for the groups of their choosing in the app. Then, as needed, send out notifications and reminders to the groups of your choice. It cuts down on people getting the right information they need, and not overwhelming other users who might not need the notification.

5. Follow Through, Finish Well

Check in with small group leaders throughout the season and see how things are going with the app. Are members using it? How is the experience going? Any hiccups along the way? Cheer your leaders on and assist where they need it. Reaching out periodically can make all the difference, and it’s a great reminder that you’re always on hand to help.

What tools have you used to make the most of your small group launch?