There are so many things unique to a small group that you cannot find anywhere else in church. Among other things, a small group can provide a completely non-threatening atmosphere for those who may not be familiar or comfortable with the idea of walking into a large church full of 800 people. Small groups can meet in homes, coffee shops, parks, etc. These are places that all people, regardless of their familiarity with Jesus, can relate to. The more familiarity you can add to the group, the better chance you have for someone to accept an invitation.
One recent example that is just beginning to get off the ground is a group comprised of families who have been involved in Upward Football here at Clear Creek. The idea was to create an easy invitation point and potential landing spot for any of the over 100 families that spend most Saturdays in the fall playing football behind our building.
Like we said before, the more elements of familiarity we can add to an environment, the more likely someone is to visit that environment. So for this new group, the conversation would go something like, “Hey, you know the Birches and the Longs, right? Their kids play on our football team. They and a few other families from Upward hangout at our house every Sunday evening. The kids mostly play the whole time which gives us a chance to have some actual adult interaction. Would you guys want to come?”
Where might you be able to use this approach in your life? Think about those who are in your circle of influence and what connections you share outside of church. Do you run or workout with the same people regularly? Are there families you spend lots of time with because of your kid’s recreational activities? Is there a group of people at work that you consistently eat lunch with? Leverage these connections whenever you can to invite others into relationship with us, and ultimately, with Jesus.