The Coach's Role in Breaking Growth Barriers

Multiplication can be a barrier to overcome, but there are steps that will help you break through.

My family loves the movie Remember the Titans. Based on a true story about racial tensions, desegregation, and unexpected friendship, this movie focuses on one thing—Coach Boone's strategy. Coach Boone, played by Denzel Washington, is an African-American football coach who must develop more than a strategy for winning on the field—he must turn a white team and a black team into one team.

While racial prejudice and disunity is the number one barrier Coach Boone has to overcome, It is my conviction that multiplication is the number one barrier in small group ministry. Many resist multiplication because they associate it with the numbers game or statistics. The reality is that multiplication is a health issue. Christian Schwarz crunched 4.2 million pieces of data from 1000 churches in 32 countries, and found eight quality characteristics true of all growing churches. He concluded, "If we were to identify any one principle as the most important, without a doubt it would be the multiplication of small groups." Talking about multiplication, he says, "Virtually no other aspect of church life has such an enormous influence on both the quality index and the growth of a church."
The failure to multiply slowly causes small group health issues, including the fatal disease called koinonitus. In this article, I'll focus on the coach's role in helping the small group to multiply.

Helping the Leader Catch a Barrier-breaking Vision

Before a leader can multiply, he or she must first develop an image of the future state of the small group—in a condition that is better than the current one. Eric Johnson writes, "Many groups fade or resolve to become just a social group due to the lack of a clear vision."

The coach plays a critical ...

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