We have made the process of joining groups simple for people by posting all our available groups online twice a year—in January and August. Those looking to join a group register for a group that fits their age, location, night of the week preference, and stage of life, which are all outlined in the group descriptions on the website. To launch our groups well, the church hosts the first meeting of these groups at the church in a large group environment.
All groups have their first meeting at the church, with the goal being to set proper group expectations. All churches follow a similar format, hosting a one-hour event held in a large group environment where members come to meet their leader and other members who have joined their group. There is time set aside for group leaders to facilitate relationship building and cast vision, and the event is hosted by a staff person with some production to keep the evening flowing.
Because our churches vary in size, each one customizes the event to meet their specific needs. Some churches will begin Week 1 of Circle Up, our recommended starter curriculum, while others may use the first meeting to focus on getting the new group members acquainted with one another. Churches also customize the best dates/times during the week/weekend, volunteer teams, the length of the event, and the organization of the room in which the event is held.
The following video is used for promotion when our group connections registration season opens to help set the expectations of people who are considering joining a group.