Helping more people be more like Jesus is a multiplication vision. As a church, we plant other churches because we want more people to be introduced to Jesus in their own culture and community. As individuals, we’re not just called to be more like Jesus ourselves, but to show others the way to be more like Jesus too. So, our Community Groups multiply because it’s a natural part of our corporate and personal disciple-making vision. Creating a new Community Group should be a like a missionary “sending” experience. It is the disciple-making mechanism that has exponential potential for reaching our own community and the world.
There are several ways that your current Community Group can be a sending group:
Launch a new group. In this model, one couple from the parent group starts a new group. Either the current leaders stay with the group while the co-leaders form an entirely new group, or the co-leaders stay with the current group while the leaders launch out to form a new group. Talk and pray with your co-leaders about this option. Would they prefer to stay with the current group, or do you think they would be more effective starting their own group from scratch?
Plant a new group. In the same way as a new church would be planted with a core leadership team, a new Community Group could be planted out of your current group. In this model, the leaders or co-leaders would invite two or three other couples or individuals to be part of the core that plants a new Community Group. If you have a group with several mature Christ-followers that could form the foundation of a new missional group, one that would be naturally evangelistic, maybe this is the model to pursue.
Double the current group. Either the leaders or the co-leaders branch out, and the current group is strategically distributed between them to form two new groups of equal size. Of course, both groups then invite new people to join them, and the number of people originally in a Community Group doubles. If you choose to multiply through this model, be sure to prayerfully and sensitively form the two new groups. Distribute people into groups based on their chemistry with each other, their spiritual giftedness, their stage of life, and where they live. Consider talking privately with couples and individuals in your group to get their feedback on which group they feel would be best for them.
Whichever model you choose, help your group see how multiplying, although sometimes not comfortable, is the best way to create space for more people to experience discipleship and growth.