In this two part series, each of these key actions will likely result in growth, but the greatest growth result will tend to result from adding both new leaders AND new groups. In Part 1, I focused on the why and how of adding new leaders. In Part 2, I will focus on the why and how of adding new groups.
WHY ARE NEW GROUPS NEEDED?
- Full. Typically existing groups slow or stop growing after 18-24 months. Space and relationships get full. So other means are needed to reach, teach, and care for new people.
- Care. The leadership care ratio (one leader per five members) is expanded with new classes. With every new leader and group, care can be consistently extended to more people. More care equals more discipleship and numerical growth.
- Attractive. It is more exciting to be part of something new. New people don’t have to break into existing relationships in new group since everyone is new. As a result, new groups tend to grow faster and reach more lost people than existing groups.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO ADD NEW GROUPS?
- gather your leadership team to pray and determine where new groups are needed (identify target audience);
- enlist the group leadership team and provide vision and training;
- determine the group meeting place, date, and time;
- set the launch date and communicate it;
- obtain resources, supplies, and furnishings;
- build relationships with and invite the target audience;
- launch and celebrate the new group;
- coach the new team to thrive.
WHAT ARE POTENTIAL SOURCES FOR NEW GROUPS?
- Gaps. Determine age group, gender, coed/single, or other gaps in your current classes. Start new groups to fill those gaps.
- Absentees. Gather a list of people in your target group from existing class rolls who have not attended in more than six months.
- Pastor’s Class. Some will come out of relationship with the pastor. This could be early arrivers in the sanctuary for worship or in a classroom.
- Church members not enrolled. Some will come to new classes who have not found a place in existing classes.
- Unenrolled family members of Sunday School members. Some will come through caring invitations to fellowships, projects, meals, group time, and Jesus.
- Seed group. Launch a class with 2-6 people from one or more classes since dividing a class often produces poor results. Never start a new group alone. And always leave room to reach new people.
- Affinity group. Identify a common interest of people in your community. Launch a group for them.
- Business group. Enlist church members to start groups at business locations around your community.
- Many more. Consider groups for choir/worship team, special needs families, recovery issues, new church members, other languages, etc.
What if you start a new group every year for the next five years? You have the potential to reach 50-60 people in attendance, 100-125 in enrollment, and 8-15 by baptism. Can you afford to miss reaching these people who need the Lord and need to follow and grow more like Him? These people may be your future teachers, leaders, and deacons. They may become pastors and missionaries. Start new groups. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!