Multiplication is the topic most groups don't want to talk about. That can make it particularly tough to lead your group through the process. It's easier in the short-term to go with the flow and ignore multiplication until GroupLink season rolls around.
Here are six thing you can do to prepare your group to multiply:
- Begin with the end in mind. Groups end well when they plan for it. It usually takes time for group members to buy into the idea of multiplication. It also takes time to take the steps that lead to successful multiplication. Last-minute multiplication rarely works. Take some time early in your group's life to determine what steps will set you up for multiplication. Plan out when you should take those steps.
- Cast a vision for multiplication. Talk about multiplication regularly throughout the life of your group. This reinforces the idea that your group's goal is to multiply. Ask your group members who they're investing in. This demonstrates that you value multiplication.
- Develop an Invest and Invite approach to multiplication. Spend a group meeting discussing the idea of Invest and Invite. Help your group identify people they can invest in. Suggest some practical action steps. Focus the meeting's prayer time on these relationships. Talk about ways that your group can help each other invest in and invite others.
- Identify and develop an apprentice. Having an apprentice communicates to your group members that you're actively replacing yourself, that you value multiplication. It also give you some to help encourage group members as you prepare for multiplication.
- Work through a resource focused on Influence with Outsiders. Resources like Go Fish, Start: Becoming a Good Samaritan, and Like Your Neighbor?can help your group members gain a biblical perspective on outreach, while also encouraging them to invest in the people around them. Use the Influence with Outsiders filter on groupresources.org to find other studies.
- Anticipate pushback and use it to recast vision. The good news is that when group members resist multiplication, it's usually because they love their group. People who are experiencing authentic community tend not to want to mess with success. But their love of their small group is the best advertisement for multiplying. Remind them that they've had the opportunity to experience community because someone else valued group life enough to multiply and create space for them.
What challenges have you faced in leading your groups through multiplication? Is there anything you'll do differently moving forward?