Many churches understand the importance of intentional community, yet very few implement the necessary processes to truly understand whether it is actually happening. But technology can help. Rather than simply being a place for people to connect, your small groups can actually be a catalyst for growth and genuine disciple-making.

And if you’re not convinced, here are ten ways you can use your church management software to launch new small groups this fall.

1-Prove that you value faces more than numbers.

Most small group leaders have a goal for the number of new small group members they want to reach. However, if you’re not careful, it can seem as if you value the numbers more than the actual lives that will be changed through your small group ministry. Technology can help you track who actually shows up every week so that everyone is clear that the real goal is life change, not a number.

2-Streamline reporting.

What are you regularly tracking? In addition to group attendance, do you know what other needs have arisen? Do you really know the health of each and every small group? Put a reporting process in place on your church management software that holds every small group leader accountable for this information.

3-Figure out what ‘life change’ means for your church and measure that within your church management software.

What are the criteria – Consistent attendance? Volunteering? Increased giving? Completing a series of classes? You can’t improve what you don’t track so define your most important metrics and review them every quarter at a minimum. Then you can act and improve upon the results you find.

4-Leverage small group involvement to develop leaders.

If you develop ways to accomplish the previous goals, you should then be able to identify potential leaders. A person who is committed to their group, serves on a ministry team, and gives consistently might also make a great leader in some capacity. Today’s technology can help you design powerful searches which will help you identify these people and personally invite them to engage at a whole new level.

5-Evaluate your current small group strategy beyond the numbers.

Before you start planning for how you’re going to launch a whole new set of groups this fall, make sure you take the time to evaluate the health of your current strategy. This will help you determine exactly how healthy your small group ministry is beyond looking at the overall numbers.

6-Technology helps you keep your back door closed.

Each church member is a valuable asset in that small group. But the primary reason people leave a small group is that they don’t feel valued. If you want to prevent people from walking out the back door because they don’t feel valued, make sure you don’t launch new small groups without a plan in place to make sure the people who join are going to stick.

7-Make small groups more than ‘a place to connect.’

It’s not easy keeping tabs on how each small group in the church is doing. However, this is precisely where technology can help. Rather than simply being a place for people to connect, your small groups can actually be a catalyst for growth and genuine disciple-making.

8-Uncover ministry opportunities by mining your church management software.

Your church management software can become a vital tool for identifying yet-untapped ministry opportunities in your church. Not only can it help you better minister your small group members, but it can also help you identify connection points based on personal growth beyond participation.

9-Technology ensures that your small group strategy is working.

Rather than simply being a place for people to connect, your small groups can actually be a catalyst for growth and genuine disciple-making. Technology can support you in this goal and close the back door that people tend to walk out when they’re not experiencing life change within their small group.

10-Technology helps you prevent small groups from bursting at the seams.

Most churches have a target number of people for each small group. Without utilizing technology, how can your church record how many members a group has and project when it’s time to start a new group? Sometimes closing the back door of your small group ministry means opening new homes and new doors. It’s part of the paradox that every healthy church understands. Technology helps you know when to open those doors.

The Greatest Opportunity

Small group ministry is the greatest opportunity we have in our churches to see real discipleship take place. We talk a lot about how Church Community Builder helps churches close the back door as an essential component for getting to know people and making sure they’re connected.

Measuring Results

Measuring results and streamlining your small group processes can – and will – help your church be more successful. You simply have to start with an honest look at how your church is doing. The next step is to measure results – with the assistance of technology – to help your church refine its strategies to build a stronger, more connected community in your church.

Let technology be another tool to help you ensure people within your small groups are active and growing in their relationships with others and Christ.