Pastor Larry Osborn champions sermon-based groups in this excellent book, Sticky Church. Groups are encouraged to get together and talk about the pastor. You might be thinking, “They do that at my church already!” In this case, what they mean is they encourage people to talk about how to apply the pastor’s sermons to their lives. While the idea of sermon-based groups is a good one, I don’t think you can attribute their success to sermon-based groups. Larry Osborne leads North Coast Church in Vista, CA. He is a pioneer in the multi-site movement, and as such, has led his church to have twenty weekend services with 7,000 attending. Much of the credit must go to Larry Osborn’s leading by example, not to the specific strategy of sermon-based groups. In an Outreach magazine article, he says, “Involve all key leaders. Our lay leadership and staff are expected to be in a Growth Group. If your key leaders are too busy to be in a small group, it sends the message that small groups are an extra-credit offering for those with time on their hands.
Outreach Magazine, Special Issue, 2008, page 86.
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