My wife recently had the opportunity to visit one of the small groups a growing church in our community offers.
As many churches do, the curriculum for this particular small group was based on the previous weeks sermon.
But there was a problem.
Throughout the lesson the small group leader would ask questions like “Last Sunday the pastor said we are to do what?” and “Which main point in the message did you relate to?” For those who attended last weeks service those questions were fine, but if you did not make the service last week or happened to be a first-time visitor to the church via the small group, the questions made you feel awkward and isolated. Instead of fostering growth and community, this small group pushed some of the people away. The result is predictable, this small group will probably be smaller next week.
Consider: When people feel awkward it pushes them away instead of pulls them in.
Whether in a small group, Sunday school class, or in a sermon if you want to pull people in and not push them away, teach like they know nothing.
Try This: Next time you meet with your small group leaders (whether by email, Skype, or in person) ask them to apply the Push-Pull Test. Ask them to look at their notes prior to teaching and ask “Is there anything in my notes that a total stranger would not know or understand? If so, rewrite or remove.
Church Growth Matters,