At North Coast Church, our entire ministry is built around sermon-based small groups. Think “lecture-lab,” with the weekend sermon being the lecture and the weekly small group being the lab. When we launched the concept nearly thirty years ago, we knew of no other churches using our model. (There might have been, we just didn’t know of any.) It was an innovative and laser-focused paradigm.

These midweek small groups have been a smashing success from day one. Our weekly small group attendance has always exceeded 80 percent of our weekend attendance. Currently, it’s more than 90 percent. These groups have helped slam our back door shut. They’ve turned a massive crowd into a church. They’ve been the major reason for our sustained growth and spiritual health over the years.

Larry Osborne, Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013).

If you would like help writing lessons for sermon-based groups, see