Today as I sat down to see what I could learn, I had in my reading pile Larry Osborne's article entitled Sermon - based small groups keep people from exiting the back door. North Coast Church in Calif. has 20 weekly services on 5 campuses. One of the things they are known for is their "small back door". They lose very few people from their ministry.
I recently have started 2 new small groups and I am enjoying them more than I ever thought I would. I can tell already both groups are going to bless me as much as they bless anyone else.
I have been a member of several small groups in the past that seemed to serve their purpose then gradually fade away. What I once thought was a problem with my focus and steadfastness, turns out to be a very common ending to many groups. North Coast doesn't worry about the size of their groups, when they become too big or unhealthy group members just naturally break away to begin other groups. What North Coast Church has discovered is that their Sermon-based groups have the most staying power. This is due largely to the fact that these kinds of groups only require a facilitator rather than a leader skilled in inductive Bible study. What a relief, even I can facilitate!
The cool thing about this article is that Crossroads is offering the same thing to our small group leaders! Deering Dyer creates a Pulpit Study Guide each week to go along with the weekend teaching. This enables our leaders to just stop by and pick one up! What a great concept to keep the discussion going all week long. This creates a sense of community and mission within the body.
After I read this article which confirmed that Crossroads is on the right track with small groups, I received an email. Deering sent me several videos to look at for a big January Small Group series! How ironic!
I learned today that God is working at Crossroads, a large ministry can feel connected and can have a sense of community if we are intentional with small groups!