This is the last day in a series of blog posts that was motivated by the reading of Brad Waggoner
’s book, The Shape of Faith to Come.
(If you’ve been reading the blog the last four days you’ll probably want to skip the rest of this paragraph.) This book is based on research done by Brad and his team. The research included a sampling of 2500 Protestants who consider themselves regular church attenders. Attendance was determined as at least attending one worship service per month. This means that it is very possible that a majority of those polled are attending a Sunday School class or small group.
If there’s one question I get asked by small group pastors often it is this one… “What percentage of church members or church attenders should I have involved in my small group ministry to consider the ministry successful?” There are many factors to consider when answering this question. I am certain of this… more than 40%. Brad’s poll unearthed, through the following question, an undeniably startling statistic.
In a typical month, about how many times do you attend a small group Bible study, study group, or cell group?
18% said they attend a small group or cell group four or more times a month.
10% attend two or three times a month.
12% attend once a month.
That leaves 60% who do not participate at all.
My dear friends… if we sincerely believe that life-change takes place best in a small group, we must focus much of our attention on those who are not yet connected to a group and in getting those who attend only periodically to give more of themselves to group life. It is so easy to bask on and take pride in the transformation that is taking place in the lives of those who are passionate about and consistent in group life. If we truly want to bring the world to Christ and disciple all believers to maturity, it may be important for us to ask God to give us an overwhelming sense of urgency for the 60%. After all, Jesus spent much of His time going after the “lost sheep.” It seems the rest of the sheep were able to sustain life as they huddled together while He was off seeking out “that which was lost.”
You May Also Want to Check Out...
Salvation by Works... Startling Statistics and Your Small Group I
Universalism in Your Small Group?!... Startling Statistics and Your Small Group II