Dear New Hope,

What would you be willing to pay for a haircut?  Or a steak sandwich from Manhattan?  Or a knee surgery?

A July 2018 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article on men’s haircuts explored the wide variety of price tags associated with a hair trim. While most men’s cuts were in the $25 range, there were extremes. On the lower end, one man has been paying $12 for a haircut for the last 30 years. Perhaps the reason is that his barber shakes excessively while trimming, owing him the name “Shaky Frank.” And no, Shaky Frank is not allowed to shave his client’s neck with a razor! “On the other end of the spectrum,” the article says, “is one hair salon in New York which charges its male clients $125 for a trim.” For any man reading this article, such an expense would cause heart palpitations.

What would you pay for a steak sandwich? Jason Gay wrote a WSJ article about a $180 steak sandwich called the A5 Ozaki that he ate in lower Manhattan. Gay admits in the article, “I will not try to justify paying such an absurd amount for a single piece of food…There is no sandwich that is possibly worth $180. But that is the thrill of extravagance, is it not? Eating this thing felt right and completely wrong.” I admit to you that if I were to eat a $180 steak sandwich, every bite would be going down my esophagus combined with guilt and disgust…no matter how good it tastes.

What would you pay for a knee surgery? Recently I had knee surgery performed by a New Hope member who did remarkably well. But in an August 2018 article about the cost of knee surgeries, it exposed the inflated prices often associated with what hospitals charge. In one Wisconsin hospital, they used a “combination of educated guesswork” which eventually led to charging more than $50,000 for a common knee surgery. After their charges were exposed as inflated, they reviewed their true internal costs and determined the actual cost to be $10,550. For me, I’m simply thankful to Dr. Groseclose that the knee surgery he performed on me was successful.

So, what’s the point?  A haircut for $125?  A steak sandwich for $180?  A knee surgery for $50,000?

What’s the cost of joining a small group?  Well, it certainly would be quite an experiment if we charged a $180 entry fee to join a small group. Perhaps it would increase the value and experience. But, no doubt, it would decrease our attendance.

So, here is the true cost to you to connect in a small group: $0. Don’t think for a moment that small groups are free. There have been extraordinary leadership efforts, promotional materials, staff hours, coordination, and collaboration. If we assessed the true cost of developing our small group rollout, it would no doubt be in the 1,000’s of dollars, not to mention the hundreds of man-hours involved and the ongoing costs incurred by group leaders and hosts.

But, for you, the cost is free. Free access to:

  • 28 Home Groups.
  • 22 Life Groups.
  • 7 Care Groups.

And all we ask you to do is connect with a group and commit to join. Some groups may include someone who can cut your hair. Some groups may have steak sandwiches when you arrive. Other groups may even have a surgeon willing to perform knee surgery. But the most important thing is that you will experience connection with God and connection with others in a small group community.

Go smaller. Go deeper. Connect in a group this fall!

You are loved,
Craig Trierweiler