Every Fall churches across the country gear up to kick off a new season of small groups (or Sunday school classes, life groups, etc.). While many agree that these groups and classes are an important part of their church’s ministry, we often fail to realize the importance of new groups in light of a church’s discipleship emphasis. The impact of new groups is in discipleship: believers in Christian community, studying the Word, sharing the gospel, and growing together in their faith. Here are three specific ways that launching new small groups and Bible study classes will impact discipleship in your church:
- New groups generate fresh excitement for biblical community. Let’s be honest, sometimes we get stuck in a rut. New groups push the reset button, and provide you with a point of focus for the church family. When you invest in launching new groups, you make Christian community a very visible priority in your church, and build excitement around the mission of discipleship. This excitement flows into your existing groups as well, as they see the value of community emphasized.
- New groups make it easier for new people to get connected. Research shows that groups make a significant impact on a person’s spiritual maturation, but visiting an existing group can be very intimidating. In a new group, however, the angst is lowered significantly as every person in the group is starting new. Churches that launch new groups create a more accessible context for discipleship.
- New groups create growth opportunities for disciple-makers. Bible study groups and classes depend on leaders to help guide the study and shepherd the community. This means that new groups and classes provide opportunities for new leaders to serve, for people to be stretched and challenged by discipling and shepherding others. We grow as we pour into others and launching new groups creates new leadership opportunities within your church.
Your groups matter and new groups are just one part of a church’s commitment to Christian community. I invite you and your group leadership team to join us for a Groups Matter webcast on Sunday, September 7, at 5:00 P.M. The webcast is free and features Steve Gladen (Saddleback Church), Carolyn Taketa (Calvary Community Church), and Eddie Mosley (LifePoint Church). You can sign up here.