Now that the necessity for community group multiplication has been discussed as well the “how-to’s”, the only question left is when to actually multiply. There are at least 3 factors that go into this decision.
1. When there is need
What do I mean by “need”? I mean the current group isn’t functioning well which would necessitate that group to multiply; or, there isn’t a group meeting in a specific location / at a specific time but there are enough people to start a new group. Either one of these needs can be met. Yes, it will probably mean some groups will re-align. Yes, this also means that there will need to be a surplus of leaders ready for either outcome. Neither of these are problems … as long as you are being proactive about them.
2. When the right leader is in place
As mentioned above, it's good to have a surplus of leaders who are trained and ready to go. Without the right leader, the group will fail.
At Redeemer, we encourage out current leaders to be looking for and training the next round of leaders. It helps the current group meet regularly when a leader has something come up; as well as gives new potential leaders the opportunity to flex some of those muscles. As well as looking for the next guy, we also do what we call “Leadership Lab”. This gives our leaders a chance to lead and be evaluated by other leaders as well as being taught key leadership issues.
3. When the group gets to 12(ish)
We have found at Redeemer Fellowship, that when a community group gets to about 12 regular participating adults, its time to start talking about and planning for multiplication. We’ve had groups get as high as 15-17 before the multiplication process actually took place, but by that time most people were feeling the need and ready for the change.
The simple fact is, community group multiplication is a reality for growing churches. If your community groups aren’t growing, is your church? As disciples we are called to make disciples. This has to mean other community groups, as well as other churches. Room has to be made for both new and transplanted believers. Change is rarely easy, often necessary, and can always be for our good and God’s glory.