One of the thrilling things about being a small group consultant is the opportunity to be involved in conversations with open-minded leaders and consultants whose passion is an evangelism and/or discipleship group model other than small groups. In many of these conversations a courageous and curious friend asks the question, “Are small groups really effective or is the press I’m hearing just hype?” The answer is a resounding, YES!!!
Each year Outreach Magazine does a study and announces the 100 Fastest Growing Churches in the U.S. In 2008, 80% of the fastest growing churches in the country were doing small groups (a few do Sunday School as well as small groups). You got it. 80 of 100 churches on the top 100 list are small group churches. And just in case you’re thinking “it’s a southern thing,” the location of these thriving churches range from California to Arkansas to Hawaii to Virginia to Colorado to Illinois to Texas… and of this short list, all of these churches can be found at the top of the list, one of the top fifteen fastest growing churches in the U.S.
Sounds to me like small groups are as effective as any model out there.