It is clear that God is doing a new thing with home groups. I have asked leaders at a number of my conferences, “How many of you are experimenting with, thinking about, reading up on and praying about home groups?” About a third to a half of the churches considering such a change. Many of the fastest growing churches in America are home group based, not Sunday School based. A lot of pundits are saying that home groups are the future and Sunday School is on the way out.
The pundits say things like:
- Sunday School is boring; home groups are interesting.
- Sunday School is content-oriented; home groups are life-application oriented.
- Sunday School is stuffy; home groups are warm.
- Sunday School is lecture-based; home groups are discussion-based.
My response to these statements goes like this: my Sunday School class is not. My Sunday school class is not boring, content-oriented, stuffy and lecture-based. My Sunday School group is interesting, application-oriented, warm and discussion-based.
And, here is the real point. Don’t miss this. Say it to yourself out loud: “don’t miss this.”
If you take a boring, content-oriented, stuffy, lecture-based Sunday School class (and, to be sure, we have some) and you move it out of the church building into a home and off the Sunday morning time slot and onto a Monday night, guess what happens? It is still a boring, content-oriented, stuffy, lecture-based group. This problem is far deeper than geography and scheduling. You either have a recruitment problem (the wrong person is leading) or you have a training problem (they have not been trained adequately) but the problem is far deeper than geography and schedule. To think that we can abandon the Sunday morning time slot in favor of a week night and leave the building in favor of a home and fix this problem is wishful thinking.