Sunday September 7 is Start a New Group Day across all of Oklahoma and in many other states across America as well. Of all the things a church can do to involve more people in community and Bible study, evangelize its neighborhood, and make disciples and develop leaders; starting a new group is at the top of the list.
According to the book Transformational Groups by Eric Geiger and Ed Stetzer, the spiritual benefits of involving people into a small group or Sunday School class are enormous. People in a small group: pray more, read their Bible more, give more, serve more, are better connected to other church members, and share their faith more often. With this kind of impact, the more people we can get into small groups, the better the individuals will be. The more an individual reflects the image of Christ, the better it will be for his or her family and their church.
In order to start a new group (or two or three) on or before September 7, the time to begin enlisting leaders and discovering potential members of the new group is now. Starting groups usually takes a bit of time. Here are 10 ideas to help you get that new group started.
1) Ask your current group leaders for names of potential leaders;
2) Enlist new group leaders personally;
3) Involve new or potential group leaders in leadership training;
4) Identify some names of potential group members, but remember that the most likely new members are already within the leader’s circle of friends (both church and unchurched);
5) Provide space for the new group;
6) Make sure that the new leader has a coach, someone that he or she can call for help and ideas;
7) Settle on curriculum that is appropriate for the group;
8) Promote the new group(s) to the church family in advance of start-up day;
9) Encourage your current group leaders to develop an apprentice;
A new group brings vitality and change to the church. Typically, new groups are more evangelistic and reach new people faster. New groups will engage about three lost people with the Gospel. New groups provide more opportunities for church members to use their spiritual gifts and talents.
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