I realized the only reason the church had been stuck on that plateau was because of a mental block. It was like back in the 1950s when everyone said no man could ever run a four-minute mile. It was just a dream. Then, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3:59.4 minutes. After that, many runners broke that barrier. Four minutes wasn’t a physical barrier. It was a mental block.

Our church had just broken the four-minute mile. Churches could actually start groups that would involve the majority of the congregation and then reach their communities through community!

This wasn’t about numbers, though. One man named Ken invited his coworkers to join him for a study on The Passion. Two of them accepted Christ.

When one guy named David was asked, “What motivates you to continue your group?” he replied, “My dad showed up.” Because of a painful experience years before, David’s dad had turned his back on church. But though he refused to walk through the church doors, he was willing to attend a small group meeting at his son’s house. That was his first step back toward God.

Our small groups began to reach out beyond the congregation. Groups served hot meals to the homeless every Friday night. One lady took the study to a local women’s shelter.

Groups met in coffee shops, restaurants, bookstores, community rooms at apartment complexes, homes, and even on a commuter train. Once we gave our people the freedom to form groups in more flexible ways, they became very creative about the groups they would lead.

Connecting 100 percent of a congregation in groups is far more than a sales pitch. Connecting 100 percent is the first step in reaching beyond the walls of your church and connecting your community. In the pages that follow, you will read about principles that have unlocked amazing growth and community outreach for church after church. It can happen in your church too, if you are willing!

White, Allen. Exponential Groups: Unleashing Your Church’s Potential (Kindle Locations 223-237). Hendrickson Pub. Kindle Edition.