Growing Healthy Churches & Producing Healthy Leaders
If are looking for healthy leaders and a healthy church…groups matter!
Life-change best takes place in the context of relationships. Groups matter! It is a proven fact that people grow when they are participating in an ongoing small group Bible Study. It is also a proven fact that churches grow faster when new groups are being added. In Transformational Discipleship by Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger researched showed that, “people in a group/class read the Bible and pray more regularly, confess sins more frequently, share the gospel more generously and serve more often than those not in a group.” Group involvement transforms individuals and churches.
Micah Fries with LifeWay Research challenges church leaders to “know the purpose of your groups. Are your groups for connection, formation or mission? The purpose of the group is often determined by the overall strategy of the church.” Is your strategy for men’s ministry aligned with the overall purpose of your church? Is your strategy for men’s ministry built around getting men into groups and starting new groups? Most men’s ministries are built around the big event, service projects, and activities based on affinities. Are the men in your church being discipled through an ongoing group strategy?
Implementing a LifeWay Research Strategy for Discipleship
To implement a discipleship strategy LifeWay Research provides a three-step process:
- Develop Group Leaders. Ephesians 4:11-13 says, “And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” Identify leaders and teachers and train them. Training is key to equipping group leaders with the knowledge and tools to successfully lead a small group. The Ministry Grid is a revolutionary tool that simplifies the training process through training that can be customized to meet each churches needs and track each individual’s progress. Whatever tool you use, training is non-negotiable
- Launch new groups. New groups connect more people than existing groups. New churches reach more people than existing churches. It is simply the principle of multiplication. New groups require new leaders and new leaders reach new people.
- Feed your people. LifeWay Research shows that 75% of group leaders report that they want more direction on how and what to teach. They are hungry for training. Help your group leaders by providing biblical resources that you can trust for ongoing and short-term Bible Study. LifeWay provides resources based on the churches selected starting point. If a church is interested in a book-by-book study through the Bible they can use Explore The Bible. If their starting point is theology they might use The Gospel Project. If the starting point is life issues then Bible Studies for Life would fit that church. All three of these resources have options for kids, students, and adults. Choose biblically trusted content and help your leaders by giving them the resources they need that will fit the teaching strategy of the church.
Join the global church-to-church movement by starting new groups and training new leaders.
The stakes have never been higher and the opportunity has never been greater. Use every activity and every opportunity you have in ministry to men to get them into groups and to start new groups. It is only by the ongoing involvement in transformational groups that men will be transformed into disciples and leaders. It is only by a church-to-church movement where groups matter that will lead to a lasting men’s ministry movement that will change the church and impact the world!
This movement is a reality! Individuals and churches all over the country have taken the challenge. You can go to www.groupsmatter.com and make a pledge to start one or more new groups! This is a community of churches and believers that will find support in numbers across the globe! Join us in helping churches strengthen families beginning with men by taking the pledge and saying, “Groups Matter!”
Jason Ellerbrook is the leader of LifeWay Men. LifeWay Men serves churches by providing trusted biblical content through resources, training, and events to strengthen families beginning with men. The LifeWay Men team is compiled of award-winning authors, pastors, and leaders who are dedicated to following Jesus and sharing the gospel. Jason was also recently voted to be a member of the NCMM Board of Directors.