When we think of starting new groups, we need to think about why people are not going to Sunday School or small groups in the first place. Generally, our approach toward starting a new group is from our perspective as a pastor, staff member, or a group leader. We may have a list of all the reasons why belonging to a group is important, but sometimes we have not addressed some fundamental fears that people who are not in a group may have. Although this may be a long list, here are what I am learning are the big three reasons that may cause apprehension for someone who is not in a small group!
- I don’t know anyone in the group. For someone on the “outside”, stepping into a group that already has networks of relationships established is very intimidating. They may be thinking, “Will anyone notice me? Will anyone sit with me? Is anyone going to talk to me?”
- I don’t know the leader? “What if I don’t like the leader? What if the leader calls on me to pray, read, or answer a question?”
- I’m not ready to make a lifetime commitment to Sunday School. Many people are afraid that if they ever step across that threshold and enter a Sunday School class or small group, then they are committed to attending every single Sunday for the rest of their life! And they are not sure they will even like the group!
These three issues are major barriers to reaching people, even with a new group. I have another post here about how I started a new group by using a relatively new strategy – a connection group.
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