This is a series of insights gleaned from surveys and interviews wit the most effective churches in the Georgia Baptist Convention in reaching and keeping people.
10 Things That Make These Churches Different, (part #5)
#6 – Question #21: What percentage of your classes/groups know the importance of gathering together outside of the weekly class/group Bible study time for fellowship and relationship development?
The key to creating a church culture of connections is the ease of developing friendships. In a national research project conducted by the Lyle Schaller Institute, 87% of all evangelical church members in north America that were very satisfied with their current church was because their best friends were in the same church.
Observation – In our study of the fastest growing churches in the Georgia Baptist Convention, 65% of these churches responded that the majority of their classes understand the importance of connecting outside of the class/group meeting time. These churches value building relationships and providing experiences that foster developing friendships. These churches are going beyond the regularly scheduled class or group time.
We found that the Sunday School classes/Small Groups in these churches are…
1. providing a class/group fellowship activity or outing at least every 3-4 months.
2. connecting all group members to a care group leader and the care group leader is to make a weekly contact.
3. making new members aware of other opportunities. The class/group must be involved in some type of spiritual growth and mission project at all times.
4. encouraging established members to connect with newer members outside the class/group experience.