Life change happens in the context of relationships.
Circles are better than rows.
Life is better connected.
We say those things for a reason: groups are key to our spiritual growth.
When you couple these ideas with a target audience—the unchurched—that, by definition, is perpetually new, it means we have to be really intentional about continually creating space for them take steps into community. That space won't just create itself.
We always need more and more circles.
That's where you come in. As a leader, you can set up new groups with the equipped leaders they need. We call this replacing yourself, and it's part of our multiplication strategy.
So, how do you replace yourself? It involved three "i"s:
It starts with identifying potential leaders in your group, people you think could make great leaders now or in the future.
Next, follow up with an invitation to apprentice. This is the part where some leaders shy off because they don’t know what to say. But it can be as easy as, “Hey, I think you’d make a great leader. Would you consider being an apprentice in our group?” Simple. Easy. To the point.
The two main reasons people resist stepping into leadership is that they don’t feel qualified or they're too busy. Your personal invitation is powerful. It can help them overcome their doubts about being qualified to lead.
Finally, invest in your apprentice. We don't expect you to provide training. Your role as your group's leader is to pay attention to the spiritual growth of everyone in the group, and create an environment where everyone can take next steps. The best way to invest in your apprentice is to ask him or her to help you fulfill those responsibilities.
When it comes time for your group to multiply your apprentice will be ready to step into leadership and create a great group environment for new people who want and need community. And when that happens, you've played a part in setting that group up for success!