By Thom S. Rainer
Most church leaders want their churches to grow, and for the right reasons. They want new people to encounter God, grow in their faith, and join God on His mission of serving others. But there is often a wide gap between a church leader desiring to grow and the church possessing a mentality of multiplication.
During my church consulting days, I could quickly assess a church’s multiplication mentality by asking just one question: How often do you start new groups (or classes)? I would ask the question because I’d seen over and over again a close relationship between the churches that were growing and those who constantly launched new groups. The churches working hard to launch new small groups and Sunday School classes on a regular basis were continually connecting new people and building believers who were passionate about what the Lord was doing through His Church. Thus, they were growing.
The principle is obvious: If you want to connect new people in church, you must launch new groups.
Of course, that raises another question: What’s stopping churches from regularly starting new classes and groups? While a plethora of reasons may exist, here are the three that stand out in my mind: