How Many People Do You Need to Start 100 Small Groups?

By Allen White 11839600_s

If you would have asked me this question 12 years ago, I would have answered: 1,000 people. After all, if there are approximately 10 people to a small group, then 10 x 100 is 1,000. But, I don’t believe that any more.

To start 100 small groups, you need 100 people. Now, this doesn’t mean I would start 100 small groups comprised of “me, myself, and I.” To start 100 small groups, you only need 100 small group leaders. Then, the small group leaders will find their group members.

I used to boast about having 125 percent of our average adult attendance in groups. That was a big percentage. Bragging rights for sure. But, the more important metric is not 125 percent in small groups, but the 13 percent of our congregation who led groups. What would your small groups look like if 13 percent of your congregation led groups?

Start 100 small groups this year. Whether your church has 100 people or 10,000 people, you can start 100 small groups. Focus on small group leaders, not members.

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  1. #1 by Roger Carr on February 2, 2016 - 1:55 pm


    I like your recommendation to focus on group leaders. I also like the concept of starting groups with a small number of people. There is a significant amount of growth strategy in this concept… Build the number of groups first and then grow into those groups. The leaders and first group members will be motivated to have a strong focus on inviting others to their groups.

    The challenge now is to recruit and support those initial group leaders.

    • #2 by Allen White on February 2, 2016 - 3:55 pm

      Roger, yes that is always the challenge. I see a lot of small group folks who pour their energies into connecting people. More often than not this is efficient but not effective. Pouring our time and energy into leaders is the most worthwhile investment.


  2. #3 by Alan Hannaford on March 22, 2016 - 11:49 am

    I am not sure I understand what you mean by “pouring our time and energy into leaders” is more worthwhile investment then connecting people. I have an idea you are saying find and focus on individuals and build them, set them on fire and let them build a group? The pressure on me is “create more groups” but I first need leaders that are willing and love to make that investment in others.

    • #4 by Allen White on March 22, 2016 - 1:29 pm


      In order to meet your group goals, you have to constantly keep identifying new leaders. This, of course, is much easier if people will self-identify as leaders through a church-wide campaign or some other emphasis, or if the new leaders are recommended by their current group leaders. If you have a leader, then you definitely will have a group. If you only have a bunch of members interested in joining groups, you may or may not have a group. That’s what I was getting at.

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