What percentage of attendees should we have as a goal for in Small Groups? Larry Osborne, in his book Sticky Church does a good job on communicating how North Coast Church has successfully seen 80% of attendees involved in Small Groups. That may seem like a really high target, but in the book he shares the strategic steps they take to make this happen.
The key factor for North Coast is Sermon-based Small Groups. Small Groups meet weekly with the Bible Study time focused on Sunday’s sermon. The church writes questions for groups to use, prints them for Sunday and posts them on their website. There are three types of questions they write on a weekly basis. Whether you are writing your own, using printed material from a publisher or just making it up as you go, thee must be a method to asking questions. Osborne uses three:
1. “Getting to know me” which is ‘icebreaker” questions. These are open-ended questions that “offer a nonthreatening look in to our past and current life situations.” While some may seem silly, they offer a quick view into our background and life story.
2. “Into the Bible” questions. “These questions take the group to the biblical passages that are either complimentary or parallel to the main text of the sermon, but not covered in the message.” It is important to not just repeat the sermon, but let the members go deep into other passages that support the main theme.
3. “Application.” These questions take the main point and drive it home to help with attitudes and life-change issues. The point is to help people connect and dig deeper into scripture. Osborne says “we also don’t feel the need to for every session to include a mega life-change question. Most of sermons and small group meetings are nothing more than a step on the journey.”
Something to consider for your Small Group: Am I incorporating the three types of questions in our meetings?