“We have a great idea. Let’s encourage ALL of our classes/small group Bible studies to birth a new group with their group.” I shared that idea with one class one day and I was told immediately that I could leave room. They wanted no part of this plan.
New groups do not just happen because we think they should happen. This must be built into the DNA of each new group from the beginning. They must know that the optimum maximum size for a small group is not more than twenty five. When a class or group gets larger, it loses the small group dynamic.
So just how is this done. We must develop disciples within the group to make this happen. We have found a structure of five leaders can best begin a new group: Teacher, Evangelism Leader, Administrative Leader, Ministry Leader, and Service Leader. These leaders seek out those individuals within their group who can best fit their same position as their group grows. They will be seeking to reach their friends and those who are attracted to this group. As the group begins to reach the optimum size of twenty to twenty five, they need to intensify their work of discipling and equipping prospective leaders for the new group. The whole class must be in prayer about this opportunity. This does not “divide” or “split” the class. Rather, you have the joy of birthing a new class with whom you will continue to have
fellowship, ministry, and sharing together. You may or not meet at the same time or even the same location. But, you will share mutual vision, purpose, and passion for reaching and nurturing believers in Christ. You may even work together to start more new classes from within both groups.
All new leaders must be prayerfully and carefully enlisted, equipped and encouraged in their new responsibilities. They must never be left alone to fend for themselves. That could result in failure in their minds. Rather, we must continue to encourage them and work with them to see them reach their friends as they were reached by their class. This really can be contagious!.
Mississippi Baptist Convention Board