There is nothing like reproducing new life through Jesus by giving birth to new small groups. It can be hard, but well worth it!
Here are a few tips that I hope will serve you well as you continue cultivating new small group communities.
- Foster a new small group leader. One of the ways we train new leaders is for them to be a part of a group before leading a group. Welcoming a prospective leader and pouring into them is a great way to create and send new leaders.
- Send out several leaders to create a new group. Many people worry that their group will split up and divide. I think it’s helpful to reframe that idea and think of multiplication rather than division. For some, that may seem like a matter of semantics but the underlying principle is fundamentally different. As we multiply we seek to expand and generate new life. You may have several group members who sense this call and desire to spread what the group has been experiencing to others. They may start a new group for the long-haul or go on a “temporary” assignment, getting the new group established for several months, developing some key leaders and then returning to their original group.
- Be open to change. As you birth new groups, keep in mind that what happened in the original group might need to be changed in the new group. Be watchful and willing to try new things.
- Invite friends and neighbors. Whether you are in a newly formed group or a more established one, birthing a new small group creates the space to invite others to join you on the journey. Reach out to some friends and neighbors and ask them to come.
- Constantly think about how to get people involved. Pray, notice and invite people in your group to share in the leadership. Ask them to lead a specific part of your time together. Maybe they are able to lead the time of prayer, coordinate your group’s serving or facilitate part of the group time. Be there with them and offer encouragement and feedback. This is a great way to develop the people around you!
God will equip each and every one of us as we step out in trust to create and send new small group leaders!
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21