A Big Experiment
When we announced this change, we promised an update after Snow Camp. So, we’ve evaluated its success thus far - Want to know the results?
Here they are - We feel that the results were tentatively successful!
Why tentatively? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, we simply haven’t done the experiment for long enough to know whether or not it could produce long term success. Secondly, it is difficult to fully gauge whether or not this change created an increase in student's willingness to invite their friends. Just like with adults, there are a lot of factors that play into any given invitation (like availability, etc), and we can’t be sure that students did or did not invite simply because of the separation of Small Group from Large group.
Overall, what we can say is that over the weeks of the experiment, we averaged 1 new student a week, and about 75% of them chose to hang out in the SMC or leave with their inviter rather than attend Small Groups. Obviously, we cannot say that those students did or did not get an invitation based simply on the separation of Small Group from Large Group. But, from we can gather from those who invited, simply knowing that Small Groups were optional for them and their friend did not hinder their desire to invite. The opposite, however, was true - students frequently expressed a reluctance to invite due to the potentially awkward nature of Small Groups.
So, in conclusion, we cannot point to objectively certain and scientifically variable data that this experiment was a success or a failure. But that wasn’t really ever the goal, was it?
We feel tentatively sure that this experiment created a better and easier inviting environment for our Fusion Students - and that’s good enough for us!
So, from this point forward for the 2014-2015 school year, Fusion Small Groups will be optional for our students. If this becomes a problem, we’ll do our best to make changes. But we are praying (and would ask you to pray!) that God would continue to make More and Better disciples in our High School Ministry as our students live Pi2 lives in their homes and schools.
If you feel that your student is being negatively affected by this experiment or is unnecessarily missing Small Group, why not reach out to your child’s small group leader? You can get their information HERE. We want to make sure we are giving individualized attention that will maximize spiritual growth for your child, so let us know what you’re thinking!