Now is the time of year that churches all over North America are ramping up for a key season of ministry. At Redemption, we’re working hard to help people connect into our key environments of growth. A valuable resource for us in designing our approach to ministry was Sticky Church by Larry Osborne. Perhaps it will help you as you plan for the fall.
Here are 7 Lessons from Sticky Church
(All quote #’s are from the Kindle location)
1. Spiritual growth is generally the result of having the right resources when life turns up the heat.
Most spiritual growth doesn’t come as a result of a training program or a set curriculum. It comes as a result of life putting us in what I like to call a need-to-know or need-to-grow situation. 571
2. Senior leadership must participate significantly for group life to be effective.
While many church leaders claim that small groups are an integral part of their ministry, I’ve learned that two simple measurements will always tell me their real place in a ministry’s pecking order: (1) the percentage of adults who attend a small group, and (2) the participation level of senior staff and key lay leaders. 652
3. It’s essential to have clear, obvious, and reasonable on-ramps into groups.
Instead of complex assimilation programs, a sticky church simply needs to provide plenty of ministry on-ramps to which members can easily connect the friends they’ve invited. 528
4. We need clarity on the primary purpose of groups and we need to accept that they can’t—and won’t—do everything well.
One of the most common mistakes I find churches making when it comes to ministry programming is that in every meeting and program they have, they try to accomplish everything they’re called to do. 1603
5. New people are always more attracted to new groups.
There is one grouping that works particularly well. It’s what we call New Groups for New People. In this case, the strong similarity among the group members is not so much a shared interest or station in life as it is a shared lack of established relationships. 1164
6. Leadership training needs to be relational, just-in-time, and perceived as valuable.
While our leaders wanted training (at least they told us so), they didn’t want it in the way we were providing it. When the time came, they wanted another night at home far more than they wanted the help we were offering. 2149
7. If people have a great experience with our church, they will tell their friends about it.
What matters is not the size of the church or the slickness of the programming. What matters is that those who come find a ministry and relationships worthy of spontaneous word-of-mouth recommendations. 397
Which of these seven lessons do you resonate with the most? Why?