Andy Stanley - Life is Better Connected - re:group conference 2016

Only numeric goal North Point has ever set has been in small groups - 100,000 people in small groups. 

After announcing that North Point Ministries has 72,000 people in groups. Anyone sitting in a circle with a leader is a group: children's, students, adults - 72,000 people are currently connected in groups. “20 years in people ask me, ‘What would you change if you started over?’ Our one numeric goal (to have 100,000 people in groups) has shaped everything. It has shaped everything including our budget. Setting that numeric goal has set the direction of our entire organization. Your goals shape where the money goes. Groups is the best bet.”

We wanted to build a community of Jesus followers who were in community. The most powerful evangelism is when we "one another one another."

“People often come up to me and say, “I visited your church.” I tell them, “No you didn’t. You visited one of our worship services. Our church meets in circles.”
“We wanted to build a community of Jesus followers who were in community.”
“The most powerful form of evangelism is a community of Christians who love each other.”
“The one another factor is the explanation of the first couple hundred years.”
“Our kids think you’re supposed to be in a group and lead a group.”
“The church doesn’t happen in rows. The church happens in circles.”
“When people say, ‘I’m going to call the church,’ we should say, ‘no you’re not. You’re going to call somebody. The church meets in circles.'”
“[Life-change] happens a little bit in rows and a lotta bit in circles.”
Circles are better than rows. Accountability, belonging, and care happens in groups. 
Andy's kids believe that they should be in groups. They are to be in one and lead one.

“People often come up to me and say, “I visited your church.” I tell them, “No you didn’t. You visited one of our worship services. Our church meets in circles.”
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
All of us stumble and fall.  Who feels free to ask, "Are you okay?" and won't except "Fine" for an answer. “When people are in circles, ‘the church’ automatically picks them up.”
When people stumble and fall and there's no one. There is generally nothing the church can do. 
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV

  • I have seen many broken people in group. I have been in groups that were going through brokenness. I have never been in community who's broken hearts left them broken down. 
  • Group life is preventative. Because somebody can see what I can't see. In group life, people can see what is coming. Groups are preventative. Somebody (in your group) can see what they can’t see. Somebody can always see it coming.”
  • “Groups are preventative. You can’t measure prevention. You can measure what happens without it. There is way way more going on (in groups) than you can measure.”
  • Who really needs this are singles. Who tells a single person, "I see this coming down the road for you." When you don't like something or hear something you like? You just change room mates. You get another girlfriend. You move and you get another job. For Singles ... Group Life Matters because it allows people to speak into your life! We all need it! #regroup16 @AndyStanley
  • There's no such thing as a marriage problem; there's just problems that you bring into your marriage. @regroupco @AndyStanley #regroup16
  • Every marriage needs some support to need life support later. Every marriage needs some support now to avoid life support later. @regroupco @AndyStanley #regroup16
Group life is preventive. 
When it comes to Group Life? If people wait until they need it? Then they won't have it. 
  • Groups are like retirement savings. If people wait until they need it [to be picked up] they won’t have it when they need it. It is kind of like retirement savings. If you wait until you need it, it's too late to get it. 
  • They were already there, so they were already there for us. But if they aren't already there? They won't be there for you during the crisis. 


Imagine the difference in your father or your mother grew up in a church that valued circles more than rows. Imagine the difference in your family if your family had been in a group - a place where everyone knows you and you can't shuck and jive your way out of your mess - during your darkest times when you were single. During the dark times of your marriage. 
Your story would be better if your parents or grandparents would have been connected.