Our group here just had its first multiplication. It is quite a milestone as we have been a this thing for about 3 1/2 years. Needless to say, it has been quite a learning experience. I wanted to share the options we entertained as a group for how we were going to approach multiplying the group. They conveniently fell into a list of L's.
Launch. This option revolves around someone in the group feeling called to launch out away from the group and start another group from scratch, say two to three people. I would like to say that this is ideal, but that is my apostolic side coming out.No one in our group felt this calling, so we moved on to another option.
Like. This is when you mutliply based on existing chemistry between people in the group. This is a viable option, but it is a bit inward focused. We all did not like this idea as it lent itself to clicks and had the smell of bening self-centered. Not toally, but it smells that way.
Little Ones. This did play a factor in our multiplication process. Kids are a part of the community, and we try to include them in our discussions and factor them in to our decisions. Because we have a large number of kids in the group, we did not want one group to have all the kids and the other group to have none. Part of the reason for our multiplication was logistical issues like space. So to put all the kids in one group would create the same dilemma all over again.We wanted to make sure the kid factor was evenly distributed and did not duplicate some of our logistical issues.
List. This is where you pass around a sheet of pare with three lists on them. Group #1, Group #2, and "I'll Go Where I'm Needed." this is similar to the "like" option, but it does have a twist that allows people the somewhat anonymous option of saying, it doesn't matter. I know some folks who use this option and sometimes it works well. But it does seem to leave out a discussion about mission.
Leanings. This has to do with giftings and passions. We also listed off everyone's giftings from APEST typology to see what each multiplication options looked like and how the gifts would be distributed in each scenario.
Location. The other option was to multiply based on geography. We ended up doing it this way, but the kid factor was apart of this discussion. We multiplied the groups into a North Ikon and a South Ikon. We use these descriptors for communication purposes, as in our email lists etc. But there is no branding going on here. It is more in house language for distinction. Sort of the private face of the communities as opposed to the public face. there was some mission strategy involved here as we see ourselves being sent into our neighborhoods and 3rd places. When our groups begin to saturate the city, we will be strategically located to for community engagement. The location piece also vibed with our Leanings and Little one's. It turned out to be a great deal. But it did not come without much discussion and dissecting. Needless to say, some have more tolerance for dissecting than others ;-)
That being said, we are not opposed to the other models of multiplication. One thing we made sure to do was to draw this process out and approach it from as many angles as possible. It took us about a month to go through it all. We wanted to hit it from all sides because eventually each group need to revisit this process. It was sort of a foundational moment for us when it comes to multiplying a group.
I must say that I ma quite giddy about all of this and that I can't wait to see how the two groups take on a life of their own and begin to flourish in their giftings and callings. Our goal is a movement of multiplying disciples, leaders and churches. We are learning how to do this hands on, and it is quite an adventure. We are going to be drilling down deeper into multiplying on a disciple level, and not just a group level as well. This summer we plan to blitz some neighborhoods with prayer walking, and community engagement. Who knows what God is preparing for us!