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Does the following situation fit your church too? You have more people attending worship than you have attending Sunday School or small group.
If the answer is “yes”, then you have probably tried to encourage the people not attending your small groups to join one, right? And the results were… less than what you expected.
Before you give up on all those people in worship who aren’t plugged into a group, let me share three possible reasons that they are not attending a group right now; and it is not because they are unspiritual, uncommitted people. It is about human nature and appealing to three barriers they may be experiencing about participating in a small group.
The three barriers are:
- They don’t know anyone in the group or class. Groups form a social circle pretty quickly, and breaking into this circle is intimidating.
- They don’t know the teacher. A person who is not attending may be fearful that the teacher will call on them to read from Habakkuk or answer a question about supralapsarianism.
- They fear a lifelong commitment. Many people are nervous that if they ever step into a Sunday School class, then they have made a commitment to attend Sunday School for the rest of their life!
I want to encourage you to consider starting a “Connection Group”. A Connection group addresses each of the three concerns listed above.
- Only people who are not already attending Sunday School are invited to the new group. There are no social circles in a new group and so this fear is eased.
- The pastor or another prominent person in the church is the group leader. I encourage the pastor to start the group because many people attending worship already feel a connection to the pastor. He’s safe…
- The Connection Group is only 6 weeks long. The fear of a lifelong commitment to the unknown is addressed. The average person in the pew is thinking, “I can do anything for 6 weeks”.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some mechanics about how to actually do a Connections Group.