Teach a halfway decent lesson each and every week; nothing less will do. You don’t have to be Zig Ziglar or Beth Moore or Elmer Towns to grow a group, but you do need to be committed to teaching an engaging, application-rich, and biblically solid lesson.
Invite every member and every potential member to every fellowship every month. That’s a lot of “every”s. But it’s not difficult to do if you’re committed to it. I teach a party-driven strategy that’s both relational and intentional.
Give Friday nights to Jesus. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be a Friday night. The real idea here is: In addition to consistently inviting every member and every potential member to larger events, also host smaller, more informal events. Have friends over on a Friday night for games and dessert, and make sure you invite others from outside the group.
Encourage the group toward ministry, whether inside or outside the group. Eleven years on the road have taught me that group leaders tend not to be the most fun people in our churches. They like to study and read and prepare and present. They’re not much for parties. Therefore, they need a team of people to help them. They need inreach leaders and outreach leaders and fellowship leaders. They need to equip others, so all of them can reach others for Jesus as a team.
Reproduce your group. By definition, if a group grows, it can’t stay a small group. Eventually you need to start new groups. Doubling a group is not so much about going from 10 to 20 as it is about going from one group to two. This can be done in a variety of ways; some ways are more disruptive than others. We’ll get to that later.
The results of doubling groups is amazing. If you want to know where your group could be in five years, and you’re on pace to double every 18 months, just add a zero every five years. If a group of 10 doubled every 18 months, it would reach 1,000 people for God in 10 years. If we kept that principle going, we’d reach the entire world population in about 43 years. One group that continued to double would fulfill the Great Commission. I hope that idea gets you as excited as it gets me. That’s how important this is.
So night after night, week after week, for more than 11 years, I’ve pounded away on these five principles. But again, secretly, I’ve wondered if they really work.
So I asked.