There is a common perception about this that is just plain wrong. The perception is that Sunday School is in competition with home groups. It is not. Sunday School is not in competition with home groups, home groups are in competition with Sunday night and Wednesday night.
Here is why I have seen home groups fail so often in a Sunday School church. Our people come Sunday morning. Our people come Sunday night. Our people come Wednesday night. Some of them come to visitation. Some of them come to deacons’ meetings, or committee meetings. Then, we ask them to come to a home group as well. This will fail.
Here is another thing that will usually fail: standing in the pulpit and declaring, “Hear ye! Hear ye! From now and forever more we will no longer have Sunday night and Wednesday night activities. We are doing what Willow Creek does. We are going the way of Saddleback. We are starting home groups.” This will nearly always fail.
In contrast, here’s what I suggest. Start with one night. Say, “Tonight, we are going to do something different. We have a number of homes set up to do Bible studies for a special emphasis coming up. We would like to invite you to join one of the home groups just for tonight.”
Now, how things go will determine how you proceed. If people really like the idea, you might do a four-week campaign. You might say, “Let’s try this for a semester.” You use the word “experiment” a lot. I love the word “experiment.”
Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of home groups versus on-campus groups.