I just finished reading the book Sticky Church by Larry Osborn. Larry is the Lead Pastor of North Coast Church and is qualified to write about creating a church environment where people stick. He attributes their “velcro factor” largely to their small groups.
The North Coast Church has been doing for years, what we’re trying to develop with our Journey Groups; that is making our groups sermon-based. Osborn gives several benefits for going that direction.
1. It reels in the marginally interested. It narrows the gap between listening to a sermon and joining a group that discusses the sermon he’s already heard.
2. It mainstreams new Christians. People tend to be more comfortable discussing something they’re already familiar with.
3. People come better prepared. There’s not lots of homework, but they’ve had their mind on the subject matter.
4. It’s easier to find leaders. Leaders become more discussion facilitators than teachers.
5. It reinforces the sermon. People are more interested in the semron when they know they have to discuss it later. We are all more likely to retain and apply a message that we have had to discuss.
This is a great book for all church leaders and especially small group leaders. I hope Cedar Ridge can increase its “sticky” factor.