Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger of LifeWay Christian Resources recently published a book entitled Transformational Groups: Creating a New Scorecard for Groups. The book uses data from the largest survey of pastors and laypersons ever done on the condition of groups in the church. Along the way, they examine characteristics of churches that are making transformed disciples through group-based ministry–whether small groups, missional communities, Sunday School, or some other expression. From that rich data, the authors define a simple process to lead your groups from where they are to where God wants them to be.
I recommend purchase and reading of the book along with study and application of the findings. As a teaser of the content and to create some discussion here, consider the following grid shared on page 41 of the book:
Did not attend
Attended a group
4+ times a month
|I intentionally spend time with other believers in order to help them grow in their faith.1||22%||63%|
|I have developed significant relationships with people at my church.2||57%||89%|
|I am intentionally putting my spiritual gift(s) to use serving God and others.3||42%||73%|
|I intentionally try to get to know new people at church.4||37%||67%|
|Throughout the day I find myself thinking about biblical truths.5||45%||74%|
|Spiritual matters do not tend to come up as anormal part of my daily conversations with other Christians.6||38%||19%|
|If a person is sincerely seeking God, he/she can obtain eternal life through religions other than Christianity.7||33%||18%|
As you look through the data in this grid, do your Sunday School classes and small groups make a difference? Yes, they do! Regular participation in groups impact discipleship (1). They impact relationships (2). They impact service (3). They impact outreach (4). They impact biblical retention and application (5). They impact spiritual conversation (6). They impact understanding of biblical doctrine (7).
In order for our classes and groups to have greater impact on making disciples of Jesus, what can we do? Besides prayer, leader training, intentionality, and planning, what can we do to increase disciple-making effectiveness in these areas? Press Comments below and share your thoughts. Let’s brainstorm together. Let’s start a conversation. Let’s make disciples. Be revolutionary!