Stats No Small Group Point Person Should Ignore I: Groups Make a Huge Difference

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Groups make a huge difference. We all believe this to be true. After all, we just need to read the New Testament to know this is true. But, when we see the research, we are encouraged in what we’re doing and inspired to do even more.

If you need ammunition to take to your elders or deacons to get more money in your budget for groups or to get them to give more emphasis to groups, take the stats below from LifeWay’s research project on Transformational Groups to your next meeting with them. If they aren’t encouraged to give major attention to groups, they’re simply ignoring reality.

On Spiritual Disciplines (percentage who selected either every day or a few times a week for the frequency of performing each activity):

Spiritual Discipline Did not attend a group Attended a group 4+ times a month
Read the Bible 27% 67%
Pray for my church and/or church leaders 30% 64%
Study the Bible 10% 42%
Pray in a group with other Christians 7% 36%
Pray for fellow Christians I know 54% 82%
Pray for the spiritual status of people I know who are not professing Christians 35% 60%
Confess my sins and wrongdoings to God and ask for forgiveness 54% 79%

On Behaviors that are Characteristic of a Growing Disciple (the number of times they’ve taken action in a specific behavior in the last six months):

Behavior that is characteristic of a growing disciple. Did not attend a group Attended a group 4+ times a month
Shared with someone how to become a Christian 0.68 2.30
Invited a church person to attend a church service or some other program at your church 0.88 3.18
Attended a worship service at your church 3.24 5.60
Made a decision to obey or follow God with an awareness that choosing His way might be costly to you in some way 2.49 5.12
Fasted 0.33 1.11
Memorized a Bible verse 1.08 3.23
Behavior that is characteristic of a growing disciple. Did not attend a group Attended a group 4+ times a month
About what percentage of your annual income (before taxes) do you contribute to your local church? 6.07% 10.34%
Are you currently involved in ministries or projects that serve people in the community that are not affiliated with your church? 26% 47%
Do you currently have regular responsibilities at your church? 25% 63%
Do your regular responsibilities in your church include teaching or mentoring other people? 22% 56%

You can find all of this information and so much more in the book Transformational Groups by Eric Geiger and Ed Stetzer.

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