by Bill Mellinger, Crestline First Baptist Church
Some time back, our Life Group was consistently having 17 people or more in attendance. We actually had more than one leader in training and a commitment for a host home. As we prepared to multiply several things happened. Some people dropped out of the group. One of the leaders in training got a new job that caused him to miss many meetings. The couple that was all set to host the group decided that they could not fit it into their schedules. Instead of launching a new group, we had to focus once again on the health of the mother cell.
Were we ready to start a new group? It sure seemed like we were. The Group had 17 active members for several months. The reality was a lack of consistency in the group. Nor was the group actively reaching out and the fellowship was weak. Instead of forcing the multiplication, we are now regrouping and retraining for the next step.
It really is important to have a healthy group before multiplying. What good is a new group if it is not going to be a healthy cell that is reaching new people for Christ and growing disciples? Let’s be committed to multiplication. But, let’s make sure that what we are multiplying is going to be healthy.
Let me give you an example of another unhealthy group that was almost ready to multiply. In fact, this group did multiply. However, everyone who attended the first group started attending the second group!! All we did was change nights and the main leader. This was not multiplication.
We’ve learned from our past mistakes. All of our groups are now trying to be more intentional with our outreach and the development of community. As we get healthy, we will be able to give birth to some new groups.
Have you forced multiplication of a group? Have you started a group before the parent group was healthy? If so, you probably met with some of the same disappointments that we experienced. It is exciting to give birth, but it is best when the parents are mature and ready for parenting. God bless you as you develop teams that are ready for healthy multiplication.