Thursday, March 27, 2008

question #6: how will your groups grow and multiply?

Here's the last question of my questions series. It's a question about the stability and growth of the ministry. How will you expand what you are doing? How will groups and leaders multiply? This affects structure, leadership development, and leadership training.

Here are a few of the traditional ways for growing and multiplying:
  • Grow and multiply. This is the traditional view of multiplication. Cellular mitosis. Splitting down the middle. You grow to 12-16 people and then split into two groups. This method is easy to implement and administrate, and it generally keeps groups together for about 18 months.
  • Closed and multiply. This is basically the Northpoint Model. They've done a fantastic job with a closed group structure. It's very similar to the grow and multiply-- except you don't grow. You start a group with 8-12 people, and at the very beginning of the group, you set a date for multiplication. These groups usually stay together for 12-24 months.
  • G-12. I really like this approach in places that are not transient. In this model, you remain with the same basic group of people for a very long time, but each person in the group is leading their own group. So you might meet with 12 people, and that's your group. But each of those 12 is leading their own group of 12. And eventually, all 12 of them start leading their own 12. It's exponential multiplication without ever having to disconnect people or disrupt community that's already been formed.
  • Pioneering. In this method, groups don't have to wait until they hit 16 people before they multiply. Instead, they start off with a multiplication mindset and every semester, they spin of a core group of 2 or 3 people to start a brand new group. This method relies on initiative and creativity.
There are lots of different ways this can happen, but those are the four primary methods I've seen. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, and I think the most important thing is to determine what works best in your unique church environment.


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