Larry Osborne, pastor of North Coast Church in California has written a book, Sticky Church. The premise of the book is to point out the importance of sermon-based small groups. As I have read this book I felt that Sunday School could be put in place of sermon-based small groups through out most places in the book. Osborne has discovered the importance of getting people involved in a small group. This is a fact that Christian Educators have known for years. If a church is going to hold on to people and keep them from going out the backdoor then it is vital to get them involved in a small group. Statistics so that if a person is involved in a small group (Sunday School) that usually 8 out of 10 are actively involved in the church five years later as compared to only 2 out 10 who are not involved in a small group. Osborne’s church strives to have 80% of those in worship involved in a small group during the week. This is a higher percentage than most churches that are doing small groups instead of Sunday School. The numbers that are usually reported are around 40% of worship attendance involved in small groups during the week.
There is an ongoing debate over which model is better – Sunday School or small groups? Don’t abandon Sunday School for small groups. Sunday School at First Baptist Church, Clarksville, Tennessee has run approximately 80%-82% over the last few years. Small groups are another way of getting people plugged into a group where they can build relationships and study God’s Word. Churches should embrace and support those who desire to be in a small group but should not give up on a model that has proven to be very successful over the years. Use small groups and Sunday School to make your church sticky and hold on to people! Keep the front door of worship wide open but close the back door with small groups and Sunday School. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.