“Groups that won’t multiply haven’t asked themselves the right questions.”
Group multiplication is the most difficult aspect of biblical group life. Leaving people you’ve grown to love, saying goodbye to those who have cared for and fought for you, and leaving the nurturing of a group leader who has been your friend and confidant seems an impossible thing to do.
But if we conclude that we are not going to multiply our group, we’re asking ourselves the wrong questions. Too often a group member asks these two questions (consciously or unconsciously):
- Should I really have to do this?
- Why should I be asked to do something that feels so wrong?
As you can see, these two questions focus on one’s personal wants and wishes. The problem with this mentality is that we’re called to do what’s best for the Kingdom, not what’s best for us.
There are two other questions that each group considering multiplication might want to ask themselves:
- What group of twelve in all of Christian history deserved to remain together and never leave one another, moreso than any other? The obvious answer is Jesus’ disciples.
- What if they had done just that? The answer: none of us would be followers of Christ with an eternal home in heaven.
I rest my case.
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”