Church Health Check-Up: People in Groups

Last week in our Church Health Check-Up series, we looked at volunteers serving in your church. Today, I want to shift to the percentage of people connecting in small groups.

Once again, we'll look at what I’ve learned as we launched and have grown through our first 5 years. We’ll also use this number as a barometer to ask certain questions when you’re above or below.

Healthy Percentage of Adults & Students in Groups:


To figure this out, simply take your total number of Adults and Students in a Small Group and divide that by the number of Students & Adults in attendance on the weekend. What do you end up with? The average number for the Church in America is around 45-55%.

Things to consider when checking your health against this metric:

If Below 50%

  • Are you running groups in terms instead of groups beginning and running forever?
  • Are your group leaders great at filling their group or are your groups dependent on a large push from the stage to fill them?
  • Have you cast a compelling vision around why connecting in a group is connected to initial spiritual growth?
  • Do you have a culture of apprenticeship and multiplication with your groups?

If Above 50%

  • Are groups catalyzing sustained spiritual growth that leads to discipleship?
  • Are groups causing your church and your people to be more missional?
  • Are groups the end you have in mind for your people or is there something more to call them to?

In our case:

Mission Church has always sustained a Group Rate of above 50%, typically around 60%. We load groups in January, May and September, and each group term takes place during those 3 months in between. This rhythm provides breaks and rest and encourages apprenticeship and the starting of new groups. We believe groups, for our first 5 years, have contributed to our sustained growth by helping people connect to one another. We also have recognized that groups (as we have done them) put a ceiling on people’s spiritual growth. The next 5 years will look very different when it comes to how we are helping people follow Christ…more to come!

If you’re a Church Planter or leading a young church, I would lean heavy into building a healthy small group ministry to promote the growth of your church and the initial spiritual growth of your people. If you are hitting the 3-5 year mark, here’s what I would say to you: @@Your church has a mission statement. Your church has small groups. How aligned are the two?@@

So when it comes to small groups, where do you stand? How is it affecting your church?