I always love the start of a new small group season. It’s such a great time to look back on the previous season and evaluate how effective I have been connecting people into small groups and take a look at what I can do better to prepare for the next season. You may be like me and enjoy the challenge of discovering new ways to get people excited about small groups. Most of the time, the ideas come from something I have learned or read in the growing community of The Small Group Network. Our passion for small group ministry and the sharing of best practices helps us to stay current and relevant with what’s new in small groups.
As we try to access our current small group reality as objectively as we can and avoid “Pastor Math” we have to look at the real numbers. The numbers never lie right!
The rule of thumb is that you need one small group in your church for every ten-weekend attenders. Meaning, if you are averaging 800 people at your weekend services you will need 80 life groups. Wait! Don’t panic! That’s if you are getting 100% adult engagement rate. The percentage of adults in small groups in healthy churches is at least 40-50%. So if 50% of your adults were engaged in small groups you would need 40 life groups.
The bottom line is, you need accurat answers to the questions below to set your goals for the number of life groups you will need at your church. Knowing these numbers will also help you to know how many small group leaders you are going to need each season.
1. What is the your average weekend church attendance?
2. What is the percentage of adult engagement in your small groups?
Other very important questions you can ask yourself as you set your goals are:
3. What are the current ways you are connecting people to small groups at your campus?
Consider the following as you answer:
- A variety of group topics and Bible studies.
- Groups for different life stages so that people can connect with others in their life stage.
- Ways your people can get connected in serving that will help them to get to know people organically and then join a small group.
- Small group fairs that are fun so people will be interested in checking it out.
- At your conferences, men’s, women’s and parenting events, offer the opportunity to join a small group that digs deeper into the subject/issue they just attended
4. Ask yourself are these things working as well as they could be? If yes, why? If not, why?
5. Do the people on your campus really know why belonging to a small group is important?
If your Pastor is promoting the value of small groups from the platform as a way to build our relationship with God and others, that is going to make your job much easier. If not, no worries. As the point person for small groups you are called and responsible for building the kingdom of God by building up leaders and making disciples. 2 Timothy 2:2 lay’s it out for us. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” Now that’s a beautiful calling!
I’ll leave you with some ideas that can be helpful for you to make some connections with the people on your campus and increase your small group connection rate.
Be Strong Friends…you got this!
- Create a culture of invitation- we need to create a culture of invitation not only to small groups but also to our Sunday worship services and events. You can help make it a bit easier with business size invitation cards for your leaders and small group members. Who doesn’t love a personal invitation?
- Be apart of your community events- You will meet new people and have opportunities for conversations that can lead to inviting people to join you at church or small group.
- Offer support groups- Celebrate Recovery, Grief Share and Divorce Care. Our people desperately need help in all these areas.
- Have conversations on the patio during the weekend service- make yourself and your team available to connect with new families and attendees to welcome them and invite them back to church or a small group.