Too Many People

When a group grows too large for all of the members to talk, what should the leader do?

Darryl's group has grown over the last several months and the problem now is that some people, especially the quiet ones, rarely get a chance to talk. Darryl is feeling overwhelmed trying to lead these people.

What should Darryl do?

Once again, Darryl is in hot water for something that would have been more easily dealt with in the beginning of the group. His problem isn't one of drawing out the quiet people, but rather, one of too many group members for anyone to get enough time. Addressing the issue now that the problem is facing him is far more awkward that defining it in a group mission or covenant at the first meeting or two. But let's consider his options now.

There are numerous ways to multiply groups, resulting in a more functional size. I will discuss two in this article. (See the Models section for more methods for multiplication.) Both require deliberate action and skillful leadership to avoid confusion and hurt feelings. The first is what is commonly called the "cell church" method. The other is the closed group method, in which the group meets for a predetermined time period, then dissolves according to plan. At this point, Darryl is going to need to discuss both options with his group and come to an agreement. Let's look at his two options.

Cell Church Method

This method came into favor in the United States after people learned of the tremendous success of Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho's phenomenal success in Korea. Cho used the cell church both as an evangelism tool and as a method of managing the largest church in the world. In 1995, his church numbered 725,000 members, with over 70,000 cell groups. Now that's a management "opportunity!"

As adapted in the U.S., churches appoint small group leaders as cell pastors. These ...

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