I was fascinated by a quote by Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, "The goal of a lecture is to gain information, the goal of motivation is action, the goal of a sermon is to ignite worship." It led me to ask the question, what is the goal of a Community Group?
At Living Stones the goal of a Community Group is to be a "gospel community" or a group of people transformed by the person and work of Jesus, gathering to grow and glorify God. What I have noticed is the result of a healthy Community Group is gospel multiplication. Gospel multiplication is growth motivated by the Gospel for the glory of God. Gospel multiplication plays, out in two ways, leaders and groups multiplying. Before moving forward it is important to clarify that multiplication without the Gospel at the center is man's effort to do Gods work. I will not be discussing the Gospel, but want to emphasis its importance in this process, as without it at the center there is not a process.
"When we are impacted by the Gospel we are motivated to worship God and love others by sharing this amazing truth in hopes that it would impact them similarly."
Leader MultiplicationWhen we are impacted by the Gospel we are motivated to worship God and love others by sharing this amazing truth in hopes that it would impact them similarly. The Bible calls this discipleship. Jesus set the tone for multiplication as he told his disciples to make disciples... and so multiplication began. So, what does leader multiplication actually look like. First, we must know what a leader actually does. A Community Group leader's job is to motivate the group members toward the vision of seeing gospel transformation lead to the group branching, form alignment to that vision or get the right people in the right roles, and maintain commitment to that vision. Second, we need to know how to find leaders in our groups. In looking for a leader we should look for three things in this order. 1) A mature relationship with Jesus, 2) the natural ability to lead people, particularly the people within the community group, and 3) a person committed to and who understands the mission and vision of Living Stones. The final aspect of raising up a leader is helping them grow and develop. To do this we must allow them into situations out of their comfort zone and then give them input and evaluation, as well as, love and support.
When we see leaders multiplying, group multiplication just happens naturally. Multiplying ourselves is not the only goal in gospel multiplication as group multiplication should be a goal for all community groups. Some groups take longer than others to grow to a point where they are ready to branch, but when people are being impacted by the Gospel, it is attractive and other people want to be a part of this. There are three key aspects to multiplying your Community Group. First, we must vision cast the group branching as the goal throughout the life of the group. Second, we as leaders must raise up other leaders from within the group. If the group grows, but you as the group leader has not multiplied yourself, the group won't be able to branch. Lastly, we need to celebrate when we see gospel multiplication within a group.
Without a goal for both discipleship and a Community Group the result will often be a stagnant disciple or Community Group. To avoid this we should set gospel multiplication as the goal for all discipleship and Community Groups.