From Exclusive to Inclusive

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Here are some things we ask our small groups to consider at my church every summer break:

  • Has your group been together for several years? AND
  • Is your group too big?

Answer yes to either of these- and you may be unintentionally hanging the “closed” sign on your front door.

Your “closed” to new members for two reasons:
  1. unofficially: nobody wants to be the new kid on the block OR 
  2. officially: they are simply too big numerically, so there is no room at the inn.
The problem: exclusivity 

The solution: plant a new group

Allow the leader you have trained to lead your group. Then you and one another experienced member leave and plant a new one. It can be the same night, the same place, the same everything- just mostly new members. Then…

Exclusive becomes inclusive:

Yes, people will not want to get out of their comfort zone. But when we don’t, we exclude. And the gospel is never exclusive- in fact, exclusion is the opposite of the gospel.

Christ didn’t die to keep people out- he died to bring them in.

So we make a sacrifice of our own comfort and exclusivity to include those who have not experienced what we have experienced in community. We bring them in.

 

Author: Blake Dumais

Life Group Pastor at Cedar Run Community Church.

2 thoughts on “From Exclusive to Inclusive”

  1. We just talked about this at church this morning! I love this topic because seeing stagnant churches and Christian groups is so heartbreaking when there is such a need for inclusiveness. Great post! 🙂

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  2. Thanks for the comment Sarah! Yes, most of the time we don’t really think about it- how great things are in our groups and how comfortable we feel with one another. We need to remind ourselves that others need what we have, too.

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