The Key Element in Growing Groups
Maximized Leadership: The Key Element in Growing Groups
I trust we can agree that the more people studying the Word of God on a regular basis, the better. In addition, as more people are studying the Word together in your church, the more lives you will see changed, the more leaders you will see developed, and the more people you will be blessed to see come to faith in Jesus. Therefore, you need not apologize for wanting your groups to grow. Please understand that there is not “a key” to the growth of your Bible study groups. I wish it were that simple and that I could share “the key.” Unlocking growth is more like a combination lock where several things must align in order to see the groups grow and multiply. You need to also understand that it is not enough to simply “teach the Bible.” Certainly that is critical but if it was the “key” then all groups that study the Bible would be thriving. Don’t get me wrong here. Good Bible teaching is essential and the effort is wasted if people are not engaging and applying God’s Word.
I have been helping leaders grow groups for over thirty years. The work cannot result in disciple making without good Bible study but there are skills involved in growing the number of participants in the groups as well as the number of groups that meet. For example, effectively communicating the purpose of the groups, understanding how to enlist people into the groups, how to minister to people in the groups, how to organize groups, how to develop the leadership of group members, how to engage the group members in reaching out to the unchurched, and how to get the members to help create additional groups are just a few of the skills that are needed as the group studies God’s Word together in order to open the combination lock of group growth.
I want to share one key skill that is like the first domino that if tipped will in turn cause the other dominos to fall. That one key is the equipping plan for your leaders. What are you doing to systematically train your Bible study group leaders to give them the skills that I just described? Trust me….the application of these skills do not occur spontaneously. Most Bible study leaders focus on…..Bible study. You can do that week after week and fail to apply the skills needed to grow the groups. What is the result if you fail at this point? The fewer lives you will see changed, the fewer leaders you will see developed, and the fewer people you will be blessed to see come to faith in Jesus. Don’t apologize for wanting to grow your groups. And trust me, it rarely happens where the leaders are not equipped. I do have research to prove my point. But, to get the Biblical underpinning of my commentary, take time to study Ephesians 4:12-16. Paul made this point long ago. How are you applying it?