New research from LifeWay reveals how important small groups are to the life of the church:

"A new study from LifeWay Research found that those who are not involved in a group are missing out on one of the most effective tools for Christian growth … Virtually every pastor (97 percent) says groups are an important part of their church, yet less than half (42 percent) have a 'well-defined' approach to group ministry."

The report continues,

"Churchgoers who belong to a group are more likely to go to church at least four times a month (79 percent), and to read the Bible daily (28 percent). … Being in a group also impacts people's daily lives. Group members feel closer to God (69 percent), understand the Bible better (74 percent), trust God more (66 percent), and become more loving in their relationships (48 percent)."

Aaron Earls concludes the report summary:

"New groups create a level playing field for those previously involved and those joining a group for the first time. They bring in new members and reproduce new leaders. When churches stop bringing in new members and reproducing new leaders, they have begun a slide to the death of the congregation."
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