After a few months together, many groups grow comfortable with each other. They tend to forget what attracted them (a hook). They stop inviting new people. Thus begins the decline and death (whether fast or slow) of the class. For the purposes of this post, a hook is what attracts a prospect to become a member of your class.
Does Your Group Have One?
Think about your own experience. What attracted you to your current group? Why did you choose that group? What kept you interested in the group? How long was it before you joined the group? Is that hook still effective now–not to you, but for new people?
Choosing a Hook
I intentionally used the word, “choosing” in this section title. Some hooks are organic, meaning natural or innate. Sometimes they flow out of a passion of the group leader or the group. But many hooks are the result of prayer and choice. Consider the following list as your class chooses a hook:
- affinity (something in common: parents of teens, quilters, runners, backpackers, etc.)
- passion (for a people group, cause, or a task/job)
- ministry or service focus (ways of serving or meeting needs in the church or community)
- relational or fellowship focus (ways of developing more meaningful friendships through meals and social activities)
- location (meeting in a place that has potential to attract people)
- date/time (a choice of a day of the week and time of the day that will fit the schedules of people)
- age group (many people enjoy being with others that are their age and going through similar life experiences
- teaching method (some are attracted by different teaching methods which address certain learning styles)
- teaching topic (these tend to be short-term, but can be attractive).
The list of hooks could go on an on. But this list is a good start. Think about your class. Does one of these hooks describe your group? Without a hook, you will be less likely to attract new people. In fact, you may also be less likely to continue connections with your current group.
Gather a leadership team from your group. Prayerfully determine a hook that connects best with your group and those you would like to reach. And then communicate and work that hook thoroughly over the next year. Don’t give up too soon! Extend your hook. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!