In a few weeks, our spring semester of Fuel Groups are about to begin. As soon as people sign up for your group, they begin forming opinions on whether or not they’ll like or fit in with your group. So, I’d like to share 5 ways to make sure people want to come back to your group.
- Contact people who sign up for your group. Once you sign up for a group, it can be nerve-wracking. What’s the group going to be like? Will I like it? Will people like me? You can help alleviate people’s concerns by calling them. Introduce yourself and what they can expect out of the group. Let them know what to expect on the first night. If you have time, introduce yourself to them in person on a Sunday morning.
- On the first night, let people know they’re at the right house. It’s scary to go up to a stranger’s house and knock on the door. Put the porch light on and make sure your house number is visible. If you can, keep the front door open. You could even put a note on the door that says, “Welcome to our group. Come on in.”
- Greet people at the door and welcome them. Let them know where to put their coats and whether or not they need to take off their shoes. Smile, and thank them for coming. Introduce them around to everyone else at your house. The more connected they feel, the higher the chance they will like your group.
- Help your group laugh together. I still remember one night a few years ago when my wife was pregnant. There was a quiet moment in group and out of nowhere she passed gas- pretty loudly! Everyone sat in stunned silence for a second before Jess claimed it and said, “Sorry, I’m pregnant.” And the whole group busted out laughing. That definitely “broke the ice” if you will. Now, I’m not suggesting asking your spouse to pass bass your first night, but there is something about laughing together. If you find yourself laughing at the same thing with a group, then it’s easier to believe that you all have something in common. On your first night…
- Let people know gelling as a group will take time.
- Play some get to know you games.
- Play a game that will help people laugh together.
- Follow up. After your grist group, consider calling or e-mailing the people in your group and thanking them for conning. People want to feel like they mattered. They wonder if this is a group that will invite them “in,” not just be nice to them for a night, but really make them feel like they’re a “part of the family.” You can help by taking the time to thank them for coming.
Even if you do all these things, there are some people who will not like feel like your group is a “fit”. That’s ok and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad leader. A person might have some pre-conceived ideas of what sort of group they will fit with- that have nothing to do with you. I’ve had single people feel like they couldn’t fit well with married people or older people feel like they couldn’t relate with younger people. It may not be true, but it’s ok. If someone wants to find a different group, ask if you can help.