Josh Hunt How any group leader can impact 1000 people in the next 10 years

The average size Sunday School in America is 10 people. On average, children's groups have a few less, while adult groups will have a few more. In large churches, this number will expand slightly, owing mostly to a few huge classes. But still, the average is about 10.

Imagine that this group of 10 doubled every two years or less. Suppose they doubled every eighteen months. What would happen in ten years? (I owe this insight to Andy Stanley who is betting the farm on doubling groups.)

Keeping a constant state of growth, here is what it looks like over ten years:

 Years: Attending: 0.0 10 0.5 13 1.0 16 1.5 20 2.0 25 2.5 32 3.0 40 3.5 50 4.0 63 4.5 79 5.0 100 5.5 126 6.0 158 6.5 199 7.0 251 7.5 316 8.0 398 8.5 501 9.0 631 9.5 794 10.0 1000

In graph form, it looks like this:

How do we get a group to double every two years or less? Perhaps a little review is in order. There are five steps to a group doubling every two years or less:

Teach a half-way decent lesson each and every week, nothing less will do. You don't have to be Beth Moore to double a class; it does have to be half-way decent.

Invite every member and every prospect to every fellowship every month. The scripture says, "Get in the habit of having people over for dinner."

Give Friday nights to Jesus. This is an informal time of Diet Coke, table games and card playing. It is a metaphor; it does not have to be Friday nights.

Encourage the group toward ministry. It is not about doing the work of 10 men. It is about getting 10 men (and women) in the work.

Reproduce your group. Doubling a class is not so much about going from 10 to 20 as it is from growing one group to two. Eventually, growth will kill a small group. That is, eventually, it isn't small any more. The key to sustained growth is the reproduction of new groups.

Why doesn't this happen all the time? Why doesn't it happen routinely? It isn't rocket science. Why don't we see this happening regularly? In a word. . .

Life!

Life gets in the way of doubling. Soccer. School. Work. Choir practice. Meetings. Kids. Life. Life gets in the way.

How do we keep life from getting in the way of impacting 1000 people in the next 10 years?

Priorities.

If I were your pastor I would say this to you: Giving Friday nights to Jesus must become your second church priority. Sunday School and worship on Sunday morning is first. This is second. Stay home from church Sunday and Wednesday nights. Skip the committee meetings. Cancel visitation. This must move up--way up--in the priority structure.

You may disagree with me on this "Skip Sunday night and Wednesday night" philosophy.  I can respect that. But, I will assure you of this. If inviting every member and every prospect to every fellowship every month is your fourth or fifth church priority (to say nothing of other LIFE priorities) it won't get done. You simply don't have time. It must come as a high priority or it won't be done at all.

You can impact 1000 people in the next 10 years through groups that are doubling every two years or less. But, it must become a high priority to do so.