I often meet people, especially Sunday School teachers who ask me why the church needs to start new groups. “Can’t we just add new people to the classes that we already have? We would love for these people to join us!”
Although these leaders are sincere in their desire, two critical things should jump out at you from the above statement. First, “we would love for these people to join us” represents the problem a guest has with an existing group. He or she is not part of the group to begin with! The statement itself also reveals that the existing group has an attitude that a guest is not part of the group. It is difficult for many people to walk into a room of strangers and “join” them. A new group indicates that relationships have not already been formed, so everyone is new. New groups are easier for guests to join!
Second, read this statement carefully. “Can’t we just add new people to the classes we already have?” Focus on the word “add”. Leaving the church’s small group structure unchanged means that the only way for the church to grow is through addition, if at all! But new groups typically grow through multiplication. As long as a church remains committed to requiring new people to join the current structure, the best it can hope for are some simple additions. New groups generally grow the church, not one or two people at a time, but 10 people at a time!
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