You may not hear the words “Thank you” enough as a group leader. People may not express thanks often enough for the hours you spend studying, praying, and serving the members and guests who attend your Bible study group. Well, I’d like to say “Thank you.” You are making a real difference in people’s lives. You’re closing your church’s “back door.” What you do is so very important to the health of your church. It means a lot to the people in your group. How do I know this? Just take a look at what the research says. Numbers don’t lie. Here is what Dr. Thom Rainer discovered through research for the book High Expectations as he examined the attendance patterns of two groups of people – those who attended worship only, and those who attended both worship plus a Bible study group:
Of those who attended both worship and Sunday School, 82% were still active after five years from joining a church. Of those who attended only worship, just 16% remained active. So take a church with 150 in worship: 50 who attend worship only and 100 who attend both Sunday School and worship. If the research plays out in that church, five years later 82 of the 100 will still be around. But of those who attend only worship, 8 of those 50 will still be there. Eight. How do these dynamics impact the way you view the importance of getting people into Sunday School? (p.45)
Do you matter to your church? You’d better believe it! As a group leader, you are helping people “stick” to the church. If you teach an adult group, then as you help those adult couples connect to people in your group, you actually help the entire family stay connected to the church family because those adults in your group have kids and/or teenagers in other parts of the Sunday School organization.
Thank you! Thanks for not only teaching and shepherding your group, but for helping your church close the back door. You’re making a difference in people’s lives. A significant difference. So keep up the good work. Don’t lose heart. Be encouraged. You matter.
Ken Braddy is manager of Lifeway’s ongoing Bible studies. He leads a weekly Bible study group at his church, and blogs daily about Sunday School at kenbraddy.com.