When your small group is no longer small, you have some options:
- Live with the fact that a group this size makes it possible for some group members to remain silent/anonymous, leaving their stories untold and their hearts ever in bondage.
- Enjoy the inner circle, those who always show up, always engage, and are your closest friends. Rationalize that these group members “get it.”
- Tell yourself that when a leader is a good leader, lots of people want to be in their group, so a group of 20+ members simply proves that your leadership is impressive.
- Choose someone to be an apprentice, prepare them to lead, and multiply the group so that people who are not yet in a group have the opportunity to journey toward spiritual maturity.
- Consider multiple people in the group who have leadership potential, ask them to lead a new group, and start as many as four groups out of the one.
I wonder—which of these options do you think is most missional, God-honoring, and Kingdom-focused? Just sayin’…
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”