In the Extreme Sunday School Challenge by Bruce Raley and David Francis, the right DNA for a new group includes accountability, “Accountable for sending leaders and starting new groups.” Somehow the idea of accountability has faded from existence among members and groups. The best way to recover a sense of accountability is to embed it in the DNA of a new group. It could be said that God added accountability to man’s DNA at creation through these words; “be fruitful and multiply.”
Before launching a new group, decide who needs to be on the team and what role they will play. Leaders should be enlisted to a specific function and to be fruitful and multiply. As a result, they will see multiplying as their commission/mandate and goal. The new leadership can begin with the end (or new beginning) in mind. For the goal to be effective, challenge the leadership to accomplish the mission within a certain time frame (18 – 24 months).
As the new group is launched, assistance should be given to the new groups in discovering and training apprentices. Teachers, outreach leaders, care leaders, and all other key leaders should seek to have an apprentice. On-the-job training will be the most effective, but should be supplemented with additional and on-going training. If leaders are going to be held accountable, then they should be given every resource needed to accomplish the task. Staff and Sunday School leadership should work as faithful partners in the launch and on-going process. There is an element of truth to the adage, “people don’t do what you expect, but what you inspect.” However, it would be more beneficial for you to be a partner than an inspector.
The sending of leaders and starting of new groups should become a point of celebration. Recognize the accomplishments before the church and inside the classroom. In a time of worship or other appropriate venue, have a commissioning service to celebrate the launch of a new group and to congratulate the leaders on a job well-done. Inside the class, create a ‘class missionaries’ board with pictures of leaders who have been sent into service. Let these pictures serve as an on-going reminder to the group of their responsibilities in partnership and fellowship, as well as, a source of mission accomplishment.
Disciples are made through relationships. Small groups are best for building relationships. New groups foster the building of relationships, the making of disciples, and the sending of leaders. Start a new group with the right DNA, then be fruitful and multiply.