Editor’s note: Adapted from You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less by Josh Hunt
The greatest unmet need in any community is love. People crave fellowship and love. Quality small groups are part of overall church health. Here are six ingredients to grow your small groups.
1. Teach a good lesson each week. For a class to grow, the teacher must do a good job. We need quality teachers to make quality disciples. Involvement of the members during teaching time is critical.
2. Welcome people into your Sunday School class. Ask people to come, ask with others (together), and ask everywhere. Remember, people will have questions about attending. Answer as many of their questions as possible without them asking.
3. Invite people to a get-together monthly. If you make people part of the life of the group, you will not be able to keep them away from Bible study. If we don’t include people in our day-to-day lives, we will probably lose them. Consider the formula of inviting every member and every prospect to every fellowship every month.
4. With fellowship events, it’s not about the event, it’s about being together. What you do the first three times won’t be all that much fun. After that, just about anything will be fun.
5. Consider all kinds of event ideas. Just a few ideas are bowling, eating, seasonal parties, potlucks, picnics, game nights, baseball game (remember minor league!) and eating (repeated on purpose). Program all 12 months and let people know. Don’t forget seasonal ideas: Valentine’s Party, Memorial Day, July 4, Friendsgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve.
6. Understand the anatomy of a party. The event should be simple enough for someone to come off the street and participate. Give new people the warmest welcome possible. Have questions ready to ask first time guests to get to know them. Also, have new questions ready for the same guests if they come a second time.
People are not looking for a friendly church, they are looking for friends. People who leave church often do so because they hunger for community and relationships. I encourage you to find a copy of You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less by Josh Hunt to learn more.
Ken Allen serves as a state missionary and as director of LeaderCare at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, Prattville, Ala.