Occasionally I’m asked, “Does God really care about numbers?” Rather than giving a theological answer, let’s allow the data to speak for itself. Growing groups tend to be better groups in every way. For example, growing groups are 59% more likely to report high levels of spiritual vibrancy.
Another question I’m sometimes asked is, “These growing groups—are they really reaching non-Christians, or are they just reaching the already convinced?” We now have the data. Growing groups reported being 65% more likely to have seen at least one person come to faith in Christ in the past year.
Do you need more workers in your church? Growing groups can help you there as well. Growing groups were nearly twice (88%) as likely to have sent out at least one worker.
One more. You’d like your people to feel loved, wouldn’t you? That’s more likely to happen in a growing group, too. In fact, members of non-growing groups were 333% more likely to report feeling unloved, as compared to members of growing groups.
In every way that I could find, growing groups are not only growing numerically. Growing groups almost always are better groups. I couldn’t find an exception. I couldn’t find one desirable behavior or characteristic that was more common with non-growing groups. If you want better groups, you also want growing groups.
So hopefully by now, if you’re a group leader, you’re asking, “How can my group grow?” And if you’re a pastor you might be thinking, “How can all my church’s groups grow?” Now we know. We can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, what will product growth in a small group.
I’m confident that if you prayerfully follow the principles that have been affirmed or uncovered in these surveys and in the personal accounts you’ll find throughout this book, your groups will grow and make an impact for the Kingdom of God you’ve only dreamed about until now.
So let’s begin.