The ideal maximum in our groups is 12 and so in order to keep facilitating the growth, we need to keep producing new groups. This is what we call multiplication. At Follow we will multiply by training up assistant leaders, with the intention of them going to start a new group when the time for multiplication comes. EVERY small group leader should have an apprentice.
I know what you’re probably thinking. I don’t have any leaders and that is a common issue. Jesus himself said in Matthew 9 that "(37) The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. (38) Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Pray: As you pray expect the unexpected, because often the most unexpected people become very capable leaders.
Faithful, available and teachable. Faithful: People who love Jesus and follow through. Available: People who have the time to commit. Teachable: This one is SO important because none of us ever arrive and no matter what age or stage you are at you can keep learning. Look for people who are teachable.
Don’t assume for anyone. A lot of people say things like “they won’t do that because they don’t have time” Often people are thrilled to be asked and may just be praying about opportunities - you could be the answer to their prayer! Someone once said that assumption is the mother of all stuff ups and I think that is true!
This is always the most effective way to recruit new leaders. Once you have prayed about it and God has laid someone on your heart, make a time to catch up and do the big ask face to face.
After deciding on a potential leader after prayerful consideration I.C.N.U. become the 4 most important letters in the Alphabet! Say those letters slowly ... I SEE IN YOU ... the potential to lead.
Cast vision. Don’t just inform them- inspire them!
Making disciples is the greatest call on our lives and helping people come to know Jesus in greater ways is one of the greatest privileges we can ever have. We’re not begging for leaders, we are offering amazing opportunities for people to lead. Ask them to pray about it.
Do so with the intention of them starting new groups. TRAINING IS INTENTIONAL. This sounds like a big job, but it doesn’t need to be. It can be as simple as you modelling leadership and inviting them to follow along.
The best way to do this is with a simple 5 step method that I want to share.
It goes like this:
1. I DO - YOU WATCH - WE TALK
Facilitate the Bible study - ask them to watch and observe - talk about what worked / what didn’t - ask any questions they may have.
2. I DO - YOU HELP - WE TALK
The same process, except now you’re including them. Tonight, I want you to cover questions 2 and 3 in our discussion or cover verses 10 -15 of the passage, or organise supper for the night. Whatever it may be. Once they’ve had a go at that, talk about it - questions and answers. You are now involving them in the process with small parts to play.
3. YOU DO - I HELP - WE TALK
Shifting the primary responsibility to them, but you are coming alongside to provide help and support. At the end of that you then give feedback on how it went and advice on what they could do to keep growing.
4. YOU DO - I WATCH - WE TALK
Doing the task on their own, without your help. You as the leader observe and then once again have a discussion afterwards on how it went.
5. YOU DO - SOMEONE ELSE WATCHES
Really important step. COME FULL CIRCLE and the person you trained is now starting to train the next leaders.
Leadership flows from the top, so as group leader you will need to be the champion of multiplication. Share enthusiastically and expectantly about multiplication. What you get excited about your group is likely to follow. Talk up the benefits and the blessings of growth. The more groups we have the more people find themselves in regular groups around God’s Word, in prayer and in accountability and relationship with others. This is an awesome thing.
Make this a regular part of your groups. We want more people in small groups and we want to make space for them. Prayer is the most important ingredient in multiplication.
The timing of multiplication is critical. You want to multiply from momentum so preparing people for a new group with prayer and communication will be really important. Don’t rush multiplication. Plan for it and set a date at least 4-6 weeks prior to commencing the new group.
Have a multiplication party in your group! Celebrate the growth in the pioneering leader, lay hands on them, pray for them and encourage them in their new group.