Several of my friends across the country and I have begun praying that a new groups movement would sweep our nation. One of my friends, Bob Mayfield who serves the Lord through the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma reminded me today:
The First and Second Great Awakenings were large assembly awakenings where powerful expositors such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards preached the Gospel. The 1858 Prayer Revival was a lay-led awakening initiated by – prayer. Could it be that the next great awakening to sweep over our nation is a lay-led movement involving a million or more new groups and new group leaders?
What if a million new Bible study groups were started at church, in homes, or in businesses? What if each group reached ten people? That would be an addition of ten million people involved in these new groups. Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Christian Resources has shared that an average of three lost people will be reached in each new group. That would mean three million lost people would encounter God's story through Bible study and in the lives of Christians in a small group setting. According to most pastors with whom I have talked, at least half of those lost people would accept Jesus as Savior and Lord within a year. That could mean 1.5 million people baptized, discipled, and sent into the harvest.
There is no question our Lord expects us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). And there are many ways to do so, but my friends and I are convinced that a new groups movement is key. But it all begins with PRAYER!
I want to invite you to join me in prayer for this new groups movement every Thursday, at 7:30 AM Eastern time. As we all gather in our own unique places to pray before God, let’s pray:
- for the Gospel to be shared with every person in America;
- for the Lord of the harvest to raise up leaders for new groups;
- for our leaders; pastors, Sunday School directors, education ministers, and denominational servants to be humble and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and open to the possibilities that new groups offer to engage people with the Gospel and the Christian community;
- that we will see spiritual transformation among ourselves and across our nation;
- for partnership and cooperation; and
- for spiritual wisdom and insight.
For other ideas about new groups, check out these blog posts:
- Simple Steps to Launch a New Sunday School Group
- Check Out Sunday School’s Most Un-Popular Expectation
- How Can We Get New Members in Sunday School/Small Groups?
- Doubling Sunday School Classes Really Works!
- Launch New Sunday School Classes on Special Occasions Like Father’s Day
- How BIG Is God’s Vision for Your Sunday School/Small Groups?
- Feature a Different Sunday School Class in Worship Each Month
- Biblical Images for Starting New Classes/Groups
- Five Sunday School Challenges