This year, churches in Oklahoma are challenged to reach new people by starting new groups.

There is a great need to share the Gospel and make disciples of the 2 million lost and unchurched people in Oklahoma. Of all the strategies available to the local church, starting a new group is one of the most effective ways to reach people with the Gospel and connect them to the local church.

As part of the ReConnect START initiative that challenges churches across Oklahoma to begin as many new groups as possible, churches are asked to set aside Sun., Jan. 26 as a Day of Prayer for New Groups.

Every great awakening that has occurred in America has begun with prayer. Many times, the challenge of starting a new group, finding leaders and discovering and inviting new people to participate in the group can be overwhelming. Often times, the greatest resistance to start a new group occurs inside the church itself. Involving church members in prayer for new groups helps members discover opportunities where they can invite friends to a new group or even begin a new group themselves.

During the Day of Prayer for New Groups on Jan. 26, Sunday School classes and small groups are encouraged to join together in prayer to start new groups in their church. For many churches, starting one new group will open new avenues of ministry and opportunities to connect new people to Christ, Bible study, the church and God’s mission. On average, church attendance increases by about 10 people for every new group the church begins. In addition, churches are encouraged to pray for new groups during the worship services. Many people who need to connect to a new group are already attending worship.

To assist churches with the Day of Prayer for New Groups, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) has developed an insert for the church’s worship bulletin. These inserts are available from the BGCO free of charge and can be ordered from the Sunday School office, or 405/942-3000, ext. 4656.

You can be part of this major BGCO initiative to start new groups by joining other members and other churches in prayer and by starting a new group on New Groups Day, Sept. 7.