Don’t know about you but as a relatively new Pastor I understand the importance of seeing new people coming to Xcel Darlington. The challenge is will they keep coming back? A wide open door is great but it will have little impact if the back door of Church is just as wide.
That was the dilemma facing Pastor Larry Osborne at North Coast Church in San Diego. That’s why small groups were introduced and more than that, sermon-based small groups. The aim: to slam the back door shut and make the church a sticky church. Small groups became the main tool to help people stick. (Check out the Sticky Church website for more info).
We do small groups at Xcel. I think we do them fairly well. This book encouraged me that we are on the right tracks. I’m not saying that we should adopt the philosophy exactly – in fact, the book does encourage you to work out the aims of your small groups and then stick with them. Don’t keep tweaking. Don’t keep changing.
The message keeps coming: get small groups working and church will grow. Not because the groups are evangelistic but because those who come on a Sunday are instantly plugged into a small group. They stick as a result of starting to do life with others, building what can become life-long relationships, sharing the Christian journey together, overcoming challenges, celebrating success, supporting each other. A great small group is a beautiful thing.
The book is a useful resource for Pastors who have never done small groups, maybe don’t have a model to look at or their existing set up is just not working. It answers questions, it’s easy to read and makes an excellent argument for working hard to make small groups successful. If nothing else the final chapter has 5 questions that I think anyone with or without small groups should answer.
If you have read it, tell me what you think. Get your copy here.