What are we talking about when we say a large group meeting?
A large group meeting is a public, high-visibility gathering for high school students, where they can socially interact with peers and hear a presentation of the gospel in an informal, relaxed environment.
Here are some general guidelines for you to consider as you plan your meeting…
- It’s essential that you develop a good prayer strategy that involves students and your team as a whole.
- You will need a minimum of 20 students who are committed to inviting people and taking leadership for the meeting.
- This meeting has some social momentum to it. A meeting under 25-30 students usually lacks in energy and appeal for new people.
Students should play a very active role.
- Keep in mind that the meeting place can strongly influence who comes. The place needs to encourage social interaction, have an inviting feel to it, have the right physical arrangements to it (i.e. temperature, look, not too big so as to “swallow” the group, not dirty), have a desirable location, and be easy to find. A home is generally good if the student who hosts it is known and respected.
- Students are more motivated to invite friends when they have an active part in planning and carrying out the meetings. You need to meet with the students to plan, pray and make sure they are on board.
- Meetings need to be held consistently – same time, same place, every week or two weeks or month.
- Students tend not to ask what the content is as much as they ask who else is going.
- Follow-up people who respond – It is important that every student is contacted within one to two weeks of the event. If the response is large, set up several follow-up meetings for the students to attend.
- Evaluate your meeting with the student leadership to improve on your meeting week by week.
Some CONTENT that should be included…
- You need a good balance between social dynamic and issue-oriented content. But keep in mind that food, fun, and social interaction are important elements.
- Present the gospel unless there is a very good reason not to. The talk and gospel presentation should be between 15-25 minutes in length. If the speaker is of sufficient quality, he/she can go longer.
- Other elements you could include would be skits, crowdbreakers and games, Power Point slides, video, singing, special music or talent, emcee’s comments and jokes, news, announcements, and student testimonies.
- Close the meeting with some type of response device – i.e. a comment card.
Promoting your meeting…
Fliers, e-mails, and web postings can be helpful, but nothing beats a personal invitation. Giving students responsibility and involving them will motivate them to invite others.
Questions to ask yourself…
- Is your ministry ready for a large group meeting? Do you have leadership students who can help you? Do you have enough students involed in small groups (25-30 minimum) to start a large group meeting?
- Have you met with your leadership students to get them on board? Do they like the idea of having a meeting/outreach or is it your idea?
- List what you need to do to prepare for the meeting. Make sure you delegate as much as possible. This will require planning on your part.