In a recent newsletter from Josh Hunt, entitled Three Great New Ideas!, Josh shared about one church’s experience of moving worship attenders into Sunday School classes or small groups. That was my topic in my post last year entitled Moving Worshippers into Sunday School/Small Groups. Let me share what Josh said in his newsletter:
Here is an idea from New Vision Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN. They have a good number of people attending worship who are not yet in groups.
One way they address this is to feature one group a week (I don’t think they do it every week) in the worship service. They get the group to stand in front of everyone, introduce the group to the people, talk about the teacher just a bit, talk about what they are studying, and anything else that is interesting of unusual about that group. The whole thing takes a minute or two.
This puts a face on the group. People can see the group members and make a judgment as to whether they would fit in that group. Someone is going to see those group members and say, “I can relate to those folks; I think they are my people.” They had one group go from 15 to 50 in one week. That is what I call doubling!
This is the very thing that has been happening about once per month at my church. My pastor holds the microphone and asks about 3-5 questions of the teacher(s) and closes by inviting worship attenders to try out the class. This happens about once per month. One or two groups are featured at the end of the service. Frequently these are new groups that are featured. And Sunday School has really been growing over the last five years.
Here are some quick suggestions about how to implement this feature into your worship service:
determine how often you want to do this with monthly as your minimum (might want to do it more often in a larger church)
determine when in the service you will do this (I suggest at the end, especially if you have a time for Sunday School after the service)
enlist leaders to be featured for specific dates (but leave some dates open so you can feature new groups throughout the year)
develop a list of basic questions (who the class is for, what the group is studying, where they meet, fellowship/ministries planned, etc.) and share it with the enlisted leaders in advance
enlist and place someone at a welcome station from the featured group to help interested attenders to be able to find the new group (two people are better so one can escort the guests while the other greets more people)
Have you used this idea in your church? How is it working? Have you seen the groups experience increases? What other suggestions would you share? If you have not tried it, make plans now to implement it as soon as possible. When we fail to promote our groups, we are making them appear to be unimportant. We need to move worship attenders into our group where they will be even more likely to experience salvation and life change. Be revolutionary!