In Part 1, I shared that there are many expressions of small groups and Sunday School is only one of them. I tend to refer small groups as Bible study groups that meet away from the church on another day than Sunday. There are many reasons to support small group Bible study. In Part 1, I shared the first four reasons to support small groups from a newsletter by pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv. The reasons are worded as “I still love small groups because.” In Part 2, I will share in all capitals the final five reasons to support small groups followed by my commentary:
- THEY BUILD LEADERS. More groups require more leaders. And new groups train new leaders. In a small group, there are fewer bench-warmers. Everyone in a small group is needed to participate in group discussion and in group ministry. A higher percentage are willing to get involved and serve. As a result, people are prepared to take beginning leadership steps. And these leaders become more willing to take steps of leadership outside of the group. This is an important reason to support small groups. Check out these blog posts: Revolutionary Sunday School Prevents, Improves, and Removes Ineffective Leaders, Raising Sunday School Expectations without Losing Your Hair, Sunday School Leader Appreciation Is a Must!, Sunday School Leader Application Process, Job Descriptions Are Necessary in Revolutionary Sunday School, Bringing Out the Best in Sunday School Leaders, Part 1, Raise Expectations for Sunday School Leaders, and Training Leaders through Adult Sunday School Classes.
- DONE WELL, THEY BECOME A TREMENDOUS TOOL OF RETENTION. Groups care for each other. They notice when someone is absent. They reach out in care and concern. They care for discovered needs. They pray for one another. Friendships are developed. Affinities are discovered. Growth and accountability are natural. Everyone is needed to carry out the ministry of the class. As a result, people stick. They desire to stay connected and involved. Retention is high–which is a value of small groups. Check out these blog posts: Measures of Assimilation in an Adult Sunday School Class, Balancing First Impression and Connection in Sunday School, The Big Four to Be a Sticky Sunday School Class, Part 1, The Big Four to Be a Sticky Sunday School Class, Part 2, Diagnosing Your Sunday School’s Assimilation of New Members, Be Proactive, Not Reactive, in Your Sunday School Assimilation Efforts!, Telling Sunday School Guests to Get Lost, and Pursuing Sunday School Dropouts.
- THEY HAVE UNLIMITED MEETING SPACE. Suddenly your church space does not limit the number of places where groups can meet. With small groups, every member’s home/apartment is a possible space. In addition, business/offices, restaurants, cafes, meeting spaces, and even church spaces make options grow as your membership grows. If you don’t have room for 10,000 now, if you reach people with groups, you will have enough space because they have enough homes and businesses, etc. Check out these blog posts: Creative Places for Sunday School Classes and Small Groups to Meet, Is the Size of Your Sunday School POT Keeping You Small, Part 1, Is the Size of Your Sunday School POT Keeping You Small, Part 2, Would You Like to Double Your Sunday School Space?, Plan, Don’t Rush, Your Launch of Multiple Sunday Schools, and Do You Have Enough Sunday School Space?.
- THEY HAVE UNLIMITED MEETING TIMES. Groups don’t have to meet before or after worship on Sunday morning. They can meet when people are available. They can meet early morning, lunch time, afternoons, or evenings. They can even be in the middle of the night if that is the best time. They can meet on weekdays or weekends. Since as many as 40% cannot attend on Sunday morning, this is a significant reason to support small groups.
- THEY HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE. Those who get involved in small groups tend to be hooked. Why? Because of relationships with God and group members. Because of growth in understanding and application of God’s Word. Because of encouragement and support. Because of meeting needs and touching lives in service. But mostly because of having their lives changed.
Why do you support small groups? Press the Comments button below and share your personal testimony! Go back and review the four reasons shared in Part 1. Does your church have small groups? What are reasons you have found to support small groups? About which of these reasons do your leaders need reminders about the value of small groups? Make plans to use Sunday School and small groups as tools to carry out the Great Commission. Be revolutionary!