One of the key components of the church of groups conviction that it will take all kinds of groups to connect everyone. Conversely, one size doesn’t fit all. One type of group really won’t work for all of the people who are part of your congregation. And as we’ve talked about frequently, if you hope to reach into the crowd…it will definitely take all kinds of groups.
Developing All Kinds of Groups (Convictions and Principles)
- The easiest way to launch groups is still the church-wide campaign. There is no question that a campaign done correctly gives you the best way to help the most unconnected people take a 6 week test drive. It will catch a lot of people once a year.
- While the majority of your groups might be a basic community group style, that won’t work for everyone. There will be a need for recovery groups (Celebrate Recovery, DivorceCare, etc.) and an opportunity for more intensive specialty groups (Financial Peace, Parenting, etc.).
- Interest groups (Dog Training, Fly Fishing, etc.), are a great way to add another easy first connection. The challenge with this strategy is when it becomes the main way you’re trying to connect people.
- Developing a community aspect in all of your serving opportunities is another key component to the church of groups concept. While it is challenging to get the same things done while serving in a ministry, building in elements of shepherding, prayer for one another, and mutual care for team members goes a long way in the effort to become a church where nobody stands alone. It’s easier for many adults to connect first around an opportunity to have an impact.
- If you want to reach beyond the usual suspects, into the crowd and even the community, you need to develop an awareness of the kinds of experiences, activities and interests that appeal to them. The notion that the same concept will engage everyone falls well short and misses this opportunity.
- Regardless of the types of group offered, a key component in becoming a church of groups is to build in an element of journey to everything. Stagnation develops when a particular group (or type of group) becomes the destination.
The idea that all of our groups can use the same curriculum is one of the top 10 fantasies of churches with groups. If you want to connect everyone, if you want to be a church where nobody stands alone…you’re going to need to offer all kinds of groups.