This is day four in a series of blog posts that was motivated by the reading of Brad Waggoner’s book, The Shape of Faith to Come. (If you’ve been reading the blog this week you’ll probably want to skip the rest of this paragraph.) This book is based on research done by Brad and his team. The research included a sampling of 2500 Protestants who consider themselves regular church attenders. Attendance was determined as at least attending one worship service per month. This means that it is very possible that a majority of those polled are attending a Sunday School class or small group.
The fourth startling statistic relates directly to your small group. The question was…
To what degree do you agree/disagree: I intentionally make time in my schedule to fellowship and interact with other believers?”
Only 18% said they “strongly agree.”
29% “agreed somewhat.”
What does this tell us? Brad nails it when he writes, “You cannot mature spiritually without significant relationships.” So the question becomes… How many people who call themselves followers of Christ are actually on a pathway to spiritual adulthood, maturity that is able to reproduce another mature spiritual adult?
Small group leader… your group needs to get together often. I believe there are five types of connection and if you’ll plan to involve your group in each of these you’ll find your group getting together more often and be more in tune with one another’s lives and the journies they are each on.
1. Recreational Connection… getting together to do something for the fun of it. This would include going to a movie, playing a board game, going to a sporting event, going camping together, etc…
2. Missional Connection… Find a need and meet it together.
3. Conversational Connection… Get together at a coffee shop just to hang out together, conversation will follow.
4. Table Connection… Something very special that takes place when people eat together. Set aside a specified time, night, and restaurant. On that time and night you and your household eat at that restaurant. Have a standing invitation for your group members to join you.
5. Familial Connection… Invite group members to your home at a time other than the group meeting time. It is during these times that people begin to feel part of the family. Watch a sporting event on television, play a yard game, do a cookout, etc…
Most importantly… You’re going to need to spearhead these gatherings. My brother reminds me often that people want to get together, they just need somebody to plan it and let people know what’s going on and where to be. I believe he’s right. If you’ll take the lead, others will join you.