Multiplying Your Small Group Multiplication Efforts

Be intentional about birthing new groups.

When it comes to small group multiplication, there is the "ideal" and then there is "reality". The ideal is that small group multiplication occurs through the practices of leadership apprenticing and group birthing. The reality is that there is "labor" involved, but take heart, "labor" is a good thing and you might have more resources available to you than you think.

The concept of leadership apprenticing and birthing has Biblical roots (see Luke 10:2; 2 Tim. 2:2) and basically goes like this: Early in the small group's life, an apprentice leader(s) is raised up from among the group and is prepared to lead a group. At the same time, group members reach out to disconnected Christians and to non-Christians by forming relationships and inviting them to join the group. In time, the group grows to the point where the discipleship dynamics of encouragement, caring, sharing, and discussion become much more difficult to achieve. The maximum number of people in a small group where these dynamics can still function effectively varies, but typically when a group grows to 10-20 members, many discipleship functions begin to break down, including lack of urgency to recruit new members and reduced commitment of existing group members. At this point, the group needs to utilize the apprentice leadership and divide (like a living cell) into two or more groups where the life cycle of growth and leadership development can start over again.

I have been involved in many group births as leader, apprentice, and group member. Each birth was unique and not without struggles. However, the results have always produced more "fruit" than was being produced before the birth. That's not to say we didn't have some unhealthy "baby" groups for awhile, but through ...

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