I heard about a research project that Dr. Thom Rainer, President of LifeWay Christian Resources, recently sited answering the question, “What Can New Groups Do for a Church?” The research reveals 5 compelling reasons to start MORE small groups in your church:
1. NEW groups create new patterns that help move a church from an inward focus to an outward focus.
2. People in groups share the gospel more than other church members and attenders. Group participants share with people how to become a Christian 2.30 times in a six-month period, versus 0.98 times for other church members.
3. People in groups are more likely to invite others to church than other members and attenders. (3.18 times in the last six months versus 1.24 times).
4. People in groups study the Bible more than other church members and attenders. Groups add more opportunities for people to study the Bible, in addition to personal study and hearing the preaching of the Word, and People who spend time in the Bible are those who are most likely to show obvious signs of spiritual growth.
5. People who start NEW small groups are less likely to be a divisive force in the church. They are too busy doing good things with their groups.
As a result of this study, LifeWay is driving a movement to see 100,000 new groups started in 2014. Rick Howerton, the small group and discipleship specialist at LifeWay has as his goal to inspire church leaders to start 100,000 new groups all over the world in 2014. If you’re the small group ministry leader at your church, you should jump on board this movement! You can do this by pledging the number of groups your church will start this year.
Ask yourself the following question, “Do I want the 5 benefits mentioned above in my church?” What if every church leader answered “YES” to that question? We’d change the world.
So what are you waiting for, let’s get started!