By Paul Wilkinson

Look around the worship service next time you’re there and think to yourself: of the 500 or so people in this service who aren’t connected to any group, I should expect 330 of them to disappear in the next 5 years.
Below is an excerpt from 100 by David Francis and Michael Kelley. Because being in a group produces longevity, pray this summer about how your group will invite unconnected people into your groups, whether they be lost and searching or Brentwood regulars.

82 of 100 plus 8 of 50

In research findings reported by Thom Rainer in the book High Expectations, an analysis was made of people who had come to Christ and joined a sampling of churches five years earlier. We’ve already mentioned this earlier, but the findings demand us to look at this more closely. Of those who attended both worship and Sunday School, 82% were still active. Of those who attended only worship, just 16% remained active.

So take a church with 150 in worship: 50 who attend worship only and 100 who attend both Sunday School and worship. If the research plays out in that church, five years later, 82 of the 100 will still be around. But of those who attend only worship, only 8 of those 50 will still be there. How do these dynamics impact the way you view the importance of getting people into Sunday School?


Paul Wilkinson is the Adult Minister–Groups Associate, Brentwood Campus, Brentwood Baptist Church.