The differences really are staggering. I dare you to do a study of the classes in your church to see who is growing and who is not. I did such a study once and discovered 90% of the growth of the church was coming out of one class. One class! The church was growing by an overall rate of about 10% per year and 90% of this growth was coming from one solitary class. And what was going on in that class? Good teaching and good group life. What if every group in the church had good teaching and good group life? What if just half the groups did? What if half the groups in half the churches in America were characterized by strong group life and strong teaching? What if!
This does not mean you have to be Chuck Swindoll. Teaching must be at least mediocre—half-way-decent I like to call—it to grow a class.
Ahhh, but how much better if it is excellent. And in this case, excellence doesn’t cost anymore. It might take more money to make better hamburger, but it is not more expensive to produce a better teaching. In fact, it is more enjoyable for both the teacher and the student. If there is one thing worse than being bored by a teacher it is the awareness that you are boring to your group—and you still have half an hour to go. That is agony, worse than slow death.
The purpose of this book, then, is to help you be a better teacher of small groups.
This book is not primarily about preaching. It is about teaching small groups. However, there is a good deal of overlap. Good preaching teaching. And good teaching preaches every now and then. There comes a time in most small group teaching hours to pull out the soap box and preach a little. Small group work is not pooling of ignorance. Occasionally, we need the voice of a prophet. We need a “Thus saith the Lord.”
Sunday School work is not about the pooling of ignorance; we need a “Thus saith the Lord.”