This summer we aggressively searched for the best strategy of small groups for our context. The end result was jumping with both feet into a Growth Group strategy found in Nelson Searcy’s book Activate. Because we are still a very young church we were able to make a sweeping change without any hurdles. We cast vision for our groups in September and offered seven groups with the goal of having 72 people participate. I am pumped to share that although this number was not officially achieved we did have 71 different people participate in a Growth Group. My question is who is the ONE PERSON who should have been in a group but chose not to? Just Kidding.
Last night three more of our groups met for the last time and only one group will be meeting for a few more weeks. The reports back from our groups have been very encouraging. We learned a lot and have been busily preparing for our Spring semester of groups that will start the first week of February. Below are a couple of our learning’s and some thoughts we have for the Spring.
- We will always offer a group that is simply reading Scripture!
- We tried two groups (against the advice of Activate) that didn’t start with 8 or more people. Not sure we will do this again. Both groups would land on the side of success but their best nights were the nights when they had the most people.
- We are kicking around the idea that no leader can serve back to back semesters.
- We are currently exploring more then 30 options for possible growth groups.
I would call our first semester a huge success. Yes we observed numerous things that can be done better but our end goal was to connect people with God and each other and we are getting reports back that that happened.