Comeback Churches, a book co-authored by Dr. Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson, documents the decline of churches in North America in spite of population growth. Together they present ways that 300 “comeback” churches, churches that have achieved positive growth, reached new people for Christ. Here in the author’s own words are their conclusions from the research about “comebak churches” and the importance of starting new groups, which is a common denominator in those “comeback” churches:
Comeback churches added, replaced, or started new classes or groups. They were not willing just to maintain this area of ministry. Many of these churches were willing to make necessary changes to meet the demands and opportunities before them. If people need to connect in a significant way to several other people, then finding ways to start new smaller groups with different affinity points is vital. That is how new people will get Velcroed to the church family and continue in their growth (Comeback Churches, p.159).
If you are a staff leader following this blog, you’ll be the catalyst to begin new groups. You must provide solid leadership and lead your existing groups to start new ones. Split, franchise, or birth a new group – all three terms have been used in the past to capture the idea and importance of starting new groups. This is a big part of your work. Don’t neglect it or your church will pay the price.
If you are a group leader following this blog, you can help your staff leader by being supportive and releasing people in your group to start a new one, regularly talking about the importance of starting new groups so that when the time comes your people will be open to it, and possibly changing meeting locations with a new group to help them launch well.
Starting new groups isn’t optional if you’re going to be one of the “comeback” churches. How will you start some new groups this Fall? When will you start some new groups this Fall? Time’s wasting!
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