On a typical Sunday morning, we’ll have about 350 people in adult and children’s worship and about 250 in Bible Study Core Groups. That means on any given Sunday, we have about 100 people attend worship but not a Core Group. Accounting for a handful of first-time guests, that still leaves roughly 75 regular attendees and members who attend worship but not a small group Bible study just before it.
This gap is not uncommon. But is it acceptable?
We believe that being part of a small group Bible study is essential for every growing disciple of Jesus Christ (thus the name, Core Group). Corporate worship is important, of course, but that cannot be the primary avenue through which a person grows as a missional disciple. That is what small groups are for.
So in our estimation, it is unacceptable to have 75-100 people participating in worship but not a Core Group because those individuals are not positioning themselves to experience meaningful maturity in Christ.
LifeWay Christian Resources recently held a webcast that shared three reasons why people are not in a small group. Here are their findings:
- Most people don’t believe small groups are important to their churches. People simply don’t see the value of a small group ministry.
- Many people don’t believe a small group is important for them. Taking the first reason one step farther, many people don’t see how being in a small group will help them. People are busy and have information thrown at them non-stop. They simply see a small group of just more noise in their cluttered lives.
- Many people have not been invited to a small group. But here’s the kicker, most might come to a small group if they were invited.
So what should our “tale-away” be from this? I’d suggest this: If you are in a Core Group, you need to be communicating to others why it is a priority in your life and how you are growing through it. Realize that you – the average Core Group member – are the best marketing tool for our small group ministry. People expect the staff to champion small groups because it is our job. People expect teachers to champion small groups because, well, they are biased! But when a group member champions small groups, that really resonates!
So become a small group champion and tell others why being part of a Core Group makes a difference and invite them to join you this Sunday morning!