Some of our churches would grow if we simply discovered the possibilities contained in underserved or underreached people groups. Some of these people groups are found inside the church! Others are found in the community in which the people of our churches live.
- The Church Membership Roll – Although we want every member of our churches to be a member of a smaller group Bible study, many are not. A detailed look at your church’s membership roll compared to your Sunday School role will help you discover those individuals and families who are members of your church, but are not connected to a group.
- Inactive Sunday School or small group members – Every church has a percentage of people who are members of a group, but have gone “AWOL.” One of the fastest ways to regain momentum is to seek out group members who have stopped attending. They have already identified with the church and with a group. Some groups have about 50% absentees each week, and this can be an effective starting point for growing the church’s Bible teaching ministry.
- Worship service visitors – Every week your church’s worship service has guests. Intentionality is needed to create movement from the worship center to the church’s group Bible studies. This is where a pastor can really make a difference by talking about the importance of belonging to a group.
- Newcomers – your town constantly has new families moving in. Seek out a newcomer’s list from your city government (water or electric companies will often share this information). A well-timed visit to the person at their new home, plus an inexpensive welcome gift, can help a newcomer to your town feel great about giving your church a try.
- Parents of VBS children – Vacation Bible School is a big draw in communities, and savvy churches pursue a relationship with the children who attended, but aren’t members of the church, and they also make an effort to draw in the parents of the kids who attended VBS.
- Friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors – Sometimes called “FRANs,” this all-inclusive group of people reminds us to reach out to people with whom we come into contact almost every day.
If you would like to see your church grow, be intentional as you seek out new people to belong to the group Bible studies your church offers each week.
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Pick up a copy of my book Breathing Life Into Sunday School in order to learn about the 12 essentials needed to grow a more healthy and vibrant Bible teaching ministry.