Ed Stetzer once said that we should seek to move people “out of rows and into circles.” When he said this, he was referring to creating the most important movement in the church – the movement of people from the church’s worship gathering to involvement in Bible study groups.
The Transformational Discipleship research has demonstrated the importance of people in groups. People who are involved in Bible study groups serve more, give more, pray more, confess sin more, and are retained at a higher level than those people who are not connected to a Bible study group.
It is imperative that churches move people “out of rows and into circles.” No matter what you call your Bible study ministry – Sunday school, small groups, community groups, connect groups, LIFE groups, or something else – it is your church’s primary strategy for making disciples. Growth happens in groups, and we must be intentional about creating a pathway for people to become involved in the church’s most important ministry. To give you some ideas for creating this movement, here are some ways you can encourage people to step out of worship and take a step towards group life.