I feel like we need to be candid in our conversation about starting new groups. If you want to have a healthy, vibrant growing church; you must start new groups. For some of you, that may be one of the most difficult things you do in your ministry, (professional or volunteer). Starting new groups in some churches and communities have a negative stigma attached to it. Let’s face it, some of those perceptions are realities. Starting new groups does mean that some people will be uprooted from their existing classes to start new ones. That is true. However, we have to utilize people we have in order to reach those we don’t have yet.
At one church I served as a Minister of Education, I recruited a new leader from an existing class to help start a new group. This wonderful lady was praying hard about the new role that I had presented to her. Her Sunday School teacher, somewhat in jest said, “Why do you have to take my best worker”? I replied, well I sure don’t need your worst one.
Starting new groups are scary. It does require a missionary mentality to separate yourself from what you know into an area that is unfamiliar. Just like God asked Abraham to travel to a land he knew not, today’s leaders of new groups must trust God and their leadership to step out.
Reaching people and engaging them in an ongoing Bible study experience in a community of relationships is not an easy endeavor but necessary. We are called to “Go and Make Disciples”; not to find a spot and squat and sit and soak.
What if every church started at least one new group every year? You do the math. In Louisiana where I serve we have over 1500 churches. If every one of those churches started just one new group, that would mean 1500 new Bible study groups, approximately 3000 new leaders and an additional 15,000 people in Bible study each week.
Some churches could and should start more. Some churches will not succeed in starting any at all. Could you make a commitment to start at least one new group in your church? Would your class be a “catalyst” to help start a new group in your church?
Do you know that for every new group a church starts, on average, the church will gain 10 or more in attendance? Do you know that churches that start new groups, average more in baptisms? Did you know that proportionally, every new group you start nets you thousands more in tithes and offerings each year? Did you know that a lost or un-churched person is more likely to attend a new group than an older, established group?
Healthy churches grow. Join us in starting a new group’s movement in our world. Decide today and sign up.
Sean Keith is the Sunday/Discipleship Strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Check out my website at www.LBC.org/churchgrowth.