- New groups create new fellowship patterns and can thus move a church from an inward focus to an outward focus.
- Those who are in these groups regularly are more likely to share the gospel with someone than other church members. Group members share with people how to become a Christian 2.30 times in a six-month period, versus 0.98 times for other church members.
- Those who are in groups are similarly more likely to invite an unchurched person to church than other church members (3.18 times in the last six months versus 1.24 times).
- People who spend time in the Bible are most likely to show a number of signs of spiritual growth. Groups add at least a third opportunity to study the Bible, in addition to personal study and hearing the preaching of the Word.
- Members who are active in starting new groups are less likely to be a divisive force in the church. They are too busy doing good things with their groups.
The BGCO is encouraging Oklahoma Baptists to make new groups a priority! Our new START Campaign is a way to put “handles” on beginning new groups and encouraging church members to share their faith story and invite friends to their group. We just trained almost 50 church leaders who are now serving as START catalysts. I have a new post about our START Catalysts coming in a couple of days.