I’ve written many times about the need for senior pastors to champion small groups. If you’ve been along for any length of time, you know it’s a frequent rant for me. See also, Your Senior Pastor as Small Group Champion Leads to a Church OF Groups.
I really believe the #1 reason that Saddleback has so many small groups (and has connected so many people to a small group) is that Rick Warren is a relentless champion. He never quits on the need for people to be in a small group. He never delegates the responsibility to be the one to make the challenge. See also, The Real Reason Saddleback Connects So Many in Small Groups.
Nearly 34 years since founding Saddleback Church he’s just taken advantage of another church-wide campaign to recruit another 2000 small group hosts to connect another huge wave of unconnected people. Rick Warren is relentless because he knows the power of life-on-life. He knows that life-change happens in circles…not rows.
Exhibit A: Here’s the text of Rick’s January 17th newsletter to Saddleback attendees:
IT’S FINALLY HERE!
This weekend I intoduce our revolutionary spiritual growth campaign for 2014. If you participate in a small group, it WILL transform your life for the better. If you don’t form a 50 Day group, I’m certain you’ll later regret missing out on what God intended to bless you with.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO GET A COUPLE FRIENDS AND START A 50 DAY STUDY GROUP!
Anybody can be a HOST! We’ve proven this over 7,000 times! You just turn on the DVD player at your home or work.
Last weekend, nearly 2,000 brave people took a step of faith and volunteered to host a 50 Day group at work, or in a home. How about you?
AS A HOST, YOU’LL RECEIVE THE ENTIRE KIT FREE:
The leatherette Life Journals, the seven DVD lessons, and all the other life-changing materials for your group.
As a small group HOST, you have two options for picking up your free kit:
- Tonight (Friday, January 17) spend one hour with me and all the other HOSTS during our ALL-CAMPUS HOST GATHERING at our Lake Forest Worship Center at 7:00 p.m.
- Or wait in line on the patio this weekend after each service.
BRING YOUR LEATHERETTE WORKBOOK TO CHURCH THIS WEEKEND!
I’m going to teach everyone how to use this tool for personal transformation.
The HOSTS always grow the most! You CAN do this! Step out in faith and watch God bless you. Bring a friend this weekend.
Exhibit B: Here’s the text of Saddleback’s January 9th e-newsletter:
Next weekend, we will begin Pastor Rick’s new small group study, Transformed, and weekend series, 50 Days of Transformation. Learn how real change—lasting change—can actually happen in your life. There’s no better time to become a small group host. Signing up is easy! With you and just two additional people, your group is ready to go. Then join Pastor Rick on January 17 for a special small group host gathering to celebrate the start of the new series and pick up your group materials. Go online to learn more and sign up today!
You can learn a lot from what Rick has to say. Is your senior pastor saying anything close to this about small groups?
What do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.