Shrinking The Church

“There is no way you will be able to grow spiritually apart from a deep involvement in a community of other believers.” -Tim Keller

I just returned from an incredible two days in Atlanta, Ga. meeting with Christian leaders from around the globe. There was much discussion about strategic ways we can transform our communities, cultures and even countries. A number of leaders asked me about the growth of VALLEY Christian Church (that I pastor) and what attributed to the incredible growth we’ve experienced over the last 12-18 months. Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer their questions. Then, my wife Susie, was in a conversation with some of the same leaders and began to describe our small group discipleship focus in our church and one of the leaders replied, “No wonder your church is growing”!

In the VALLEY Family, we call these small group discipleship groups, Highway Groups. This is where we believe the most spiritual growth in our church takes place (even greater than Sunday mornings). This year we have over twenty such Highway Groups, that will journey together in study, prayer, outreach and fun. As our church has grown larger, we have found that it must grow smaller as well. These groups require maximum commitment and produce maximum growth in the lives of those involved. The curious thing is, this approach to small group discipleship is nothing new to us, we’ve developed this focused approach over the last 3-4 years now. God has guided us and directed us to refine this approach, and now we are seeing incredible fruit. Highway Groups have allowed us to “shrink” our growing church to provide environments for spiritual growth that simply will never happen just by attending church on Sunday.

How is your church shrinking? Maybe it’s time to start thinking small 😉

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