August GroupLink is just around the corner. That means you may be coming to the end of your one- to two-year group cycle. It may be time to multiply. Does that freak you out a little? Does it make you wonder why we make a big fuss over ending groups. Why is it important? Why not just stay together, right? All things begin and all things end. Groups are no exception. The best groups know there will be an end, and they plan for it. The best groups make the most of it. Ending the group in order to multiply it into two or more new groups is important for two reasons:
- It benefits you and your group members. We can’t grow spiritually unless we’re connected relationally. Groups provide us with the kind of intentional relationships that help us to grow. Everyone in your group wants to grow spiritually. You have a common goal and are able to help each other make progress.
But the more comfortable you get, the less you challenge one another to grow. It’s not that you don’t help each other grow at all. But the natural cycle of a group is that the growth of its members slows as familiarity grows.
New relationships add vitality. They can spur you to grow more quickly and in ways you didn’t even know you needed to grow. New people create a new group dynamic. Because the relationships in your new group will be different, God will use your experiences and perspectives in new ways to help others grow (and to grow you).
- It benefits others. Helping you and your group members grow is only one of the purposes of your group. The other purpose is to eventually make space for others to enter into community. There are people out there who aren’t currently in a group, but need to be. An existing group like yours has a unique opportunity to be a place for people to step into new community. For some of those people, it may even be their first group. And first-timers benefit enormously from joining groups with members who have already experienced the benefits of community.
So, if you're getting ready to multiply, don't sweat it too much. Yes, it may be a little sad to end your current group. That's a good thing — it means your group was a success. But ending in order to multiply the influence of your group (and your leadership) benefits you, your group members, and people you don't even know yet but who need to be in community with you.