Today, Rick Warren shared several things about small groups. A few thoughts stuck with me.
First, he stated that he believes that people join small groups for content and stay in them for relationship!
He said that true discipleship happens through a believers commitment to both large group gatherings and small groups.
The last thing that really hit me was a story that he told about the week that they added 3,200 new small groups to the 800 that they had already. Here is the readers digest version of the story:
The staff was planning a big campaign push to start 300 new small groups. Before they did, the Holy Spirit spoke to Warren and told him that he needed to add a zero to that goal and expect for 3,000 new groups. He new that his staff would think he had lost his mind. Then, the Lord told him that he would do it by asking for people to serve as hosts. He was convinced that not many people could be lay pastors, shepherds, leaders, or teachers, (all names that they had previously used for the small group leaders) but that many people could do hospitality and be hosts. So, he asked the church if 3,000 would raise their hand to be a host. He further defined that all you had to be able to do to serve as a Host at Saddleback was:
H- Have a heart for people
O- Open up your home (or condo, apartment, Starbucks or park bench)
S- Serve coffee or a drink
T- Turn on a DVD player (they do church-wide DVD series)
3,200 people became hosts that week. 17 had to get saved first and 400 had to be baptized. Is that crazy or what!?!?!?!?
In case you wondered...Saddleback Church has 30,000 people attending small groups. That is more people than attend the church!!