Worship Attendance: Between our two services and our youth Sunday school we have been getting 800+ adults and children each Sunday (November 2004).
Number of small groups currently meeting: 94
Number of people currently in small groups: Somewhere between 700-800 (this high attendance-to-group-ratio is directly related to the 40 Days of Purpose campaign which we are currently in)
Part of the recent growth in our small group ministry (and church) needs to be considered in light of our setting and context. We are a traditional New England congregational church founded in 1846. We are in the downtown area of an affluent suburb about a half hour north of Boston. Several small urban mill cities are within driving distance to our church. New England tradition and setting can sometimes be a barrier to change but our senior pastor has been leading us for 26+ years and small groups have for many years been a part of his vision. He has the trust of the congregation and his pulpit support has been crucial for our SG growth. We have had attempts in that past to focus on small groups but none have taken root like our recent experiences of the past few years.
My own personal involvement as small group director began in 2002 and that is the perspective of this case study. There is great health in the church in many other key areas and many other staff and volunteers at FCC have contributed and deserve credit over the years. My personal visibility has been just these past two and a half years. When I got to Free Christian Church it seemed like everything was in place for small group growth. The dots were there, they just needed to be connected. And of course, the work is the Lord's.
The Vision and Leadership Environment
Our small group ...