Our team works with churches of all shapes and sizes. One particular distinction is the area of group life. Some churches are still embracing more of a Sunday school model with classes that gather before and after weekend services. Others have moved to a home group model with people gathering in homes during the week. Still others are using a hybrid model with both classes and home groups.
The data we’ve collected from these churches has been combined in this instance. For us, the method isn’t as important as the relational connection that groups foster. We’ve seen healthy and unhealthy examples in both the Sunday school and home group models. With that preface, here’s a summary of the data:
As you can see, on average one of every two adults and students is connected to a group. These groups don’t include serving teams. Typically they are characterized by some combination of relational connection and spiritual growth. However, more and more, we’re also seeing groups engage in serving or missions activities as well.
In fact that’s one of the interesting correlations we’ve discovered. We’re finding that as more people connect in serving opportunities both inside and outside the church, the more likely they are to connect in a group.
That finding may challenge you to think about the first next steps you are asking people to take outside of the worship services. It’s possible that asking them to serve first may be advantageous over asking them to connect in a group. The data is showing it’s actually harder to get people to serve if they first connect in a group. Of course, that may just be a symptom of a bigger challenge that we need to address with our group strategies.
Want to learn more about measuring church health, here are the previous articles in this series: