Why Small Groups Are a Big Deal

Seven things every pastor needs to know about the emergence of small-group ministry.
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Third, give them plug-and-play DVD/video curriculum. Not everyone is called to be a teacher or a leader, but some are called to be shepherds of a few. Simply get one DVD and study guide for each leader as a gift or recommend the series in your weekend services using our bulletin inserts.

7. Small groups will help to increase weekly giving and the response to any capital campaign.
Glen Kruen, the executive pastor at Saddleback, said that giving increased well over 25 percent during the "40 Days of Purpose" campaign. This was true across the country. Not only will a church's weekly giving rise, but when they have a capital campaign, they will see a significant return on their investment.

I have seen this work with every church we have coached. Many of these churches postponed their campaigns until after they connected another 25-75 percent of their church into groups. This is critical not only because it will improve the overall financial health of the church, but the spiritual health, as well—and it is the spiritual benefits that are vital to factor in when considering church finances.

Willow Creek's executive pastor Greg Hawkins, who ran its capital campaign, said that over 60 percent of the people who gave to the capital campaign to raise over $75 million for their new facility came from people in small groups. Overall, the water level in any church's giving goes up. When people are cared for and feel loved, there's a tendency for them to give more. One pastor likened it to when Peter was fishing all day on one side of the boat and then Jesus instructed him to toss his nets on the other side.

Well, how about you? If you consider all these ideas that have worked in other churches, I promise that you won't come home empty. Instead, the people in your community will be more likely to come home where they belong!

Brett served as the small group champion at Saddleback for six years and at Willow Creek for five years prior to that. He is the author of the Gold-medallion finalist curriculum, Doing Life Together, the first Purpose Driven curriculum. Brett has a growing ministry to churches seeking to transform their congregations through community. Contact him about the One Year of Purpose Coaching Program today.

To sign up for his bimonthly newsletter from ChristianityToday.com go to LifetogetherToday.com, where you can view hundreds of other small group articles for you and your small group leaders.

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