The Christian life is most fully experienced with community. God doesn’t call us to follow Him by ourselves. There is great value in getting together regularly with a small group of people for encouragement and strengthening. But what happens when that group gets so large that it can’t effectively reach the needs of the entire group? It’s time to multiply. While acknowledging that this is hard to practice; it’s a necessity if our desire is to grow and continue to fulfill the great commission. Change can be good. Here are 3 reasons community group multiplication is necessary.
1. New people need to be included.
If your community group is fulfilling its mission of making disciples, then new people will be joining your group. They need to feel they are part of the group. While spiritual growth is the aim, numerical growth can and should be an outcome. If new people don’t feel welcome or there is not room for them, they may not return.
2. Space needs to be considered.
Most often (at least at Redeemer) this meeting happens around a coffee table or a kitchen table. Space is limited. Add kids to the mix and room for everyone becomes a premium. When a group outgrows its current space, its time to either relocate or multiply. If people feel cramped, they may not return or attend regularly.
3. The “one another’s” of Scripture need to be fulfilled.
It’s impossible for everyone to fulfill the “one another” passages of Scripture in a large group. Maybe “impossible” is overstating it, but it is definitely a time killer. Our groups meet weekly for about 2 hours. Even with 2 hours, there are always emails throughout the week of things we didn’t get to. Beyond just the time element, we all can’t really consistently go deep within a large group context. If community groups are fulfilling their mission and growing they will need to multiply. Not because we want to, (most people don’t like the experience) but because we have to; for the good of all concerned as well as for the glory of God and His kingdom.