Multiply is the process for training others to teach the Bible. It's the strategy for reproducing Circles (small groups.) Use it as a guide for growing the number of Circles.
Multiply has Three Parts.
- Select intentionally. Multiplication is deliberate. It's the result of purposeful planning; forward thinking. Decide now to look for people with the potential to either start and lead another group, or take over your group as you start and lead a new group.
- Select wisely. This is a crucial step in multiplication. Choosing the wrong person here risks creating unhealthy leadership. Making the right decision can set in motion generations of godly leadership.
- Select by observation. Choose those who have attended your group over time. Don't choose outsiders, no matter how popular or talented. Observation is a better indicator than reputation or intuition. Ask new potential leaders attend at least one five-week session of meetings. Quick placement of new leaders can solve immediate problems but create downline issues. Often they chafe at guidance, and can eventually cause division.
- Select by comprehension and commitment. Choose those who understand the tools and who are committed to implementing them. Let them grasp the tools by watching you use them. The best way to learn something is through experience. Dedication to the tools ensures downline consistency.
- Select by acceptance. Chose those who are respected by the people they would lead. Potential leaders must be well received by the group. Esteem must accompany ability.
- Select by teachability. Choose those who can receive constructive input; people who are eager for guidance. Those who do not become defensive or disillusioned by needed direction. People who are resilient, but humble.
- Select those who are ready. Choose those who demonstrate the readiness, and desire to lead. Watch for indicators they are willing to step into the leadership role. Look for those who are ready to "pop."
- Select by prayer. Ask God to affirm your intuitions. (Luke 6:12-13)
- Train purposefully. Share the vision of multiplying at the outset. Make sure your disciple knows the goal is multiplication. Jesus stated the intended results in his initial invitation when he said, "Follow me and I'll make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19)
- Train strategically. Consider this five-week template so your leaders are exposed to all the resources. You may also choose to focus on just one or two tools during your five weeks. Do what's best for your group.
- Train by explanation. Describe the various tools and overall strategy. Sometimes a general conversation is enough. Sometimes it helps to read the related pages on this website. You decide what is best for your situation.
- Train visually. Model what you want your disciple to understand. The tools and strategy are best understood through observation. Show them how to do it, don't just tell them about it. They will learn more by seeing it done, that by just hearing it explained.
- Train experientially. Provide leadership opportunities. Think apprentice. Give them leadership experience by allowing them to teach under your guidance. Follow each experience with a debrief to review what went well, and how to improve. Asking, "What did you just learn?" helps determine the pace and next steps.
- Train by releasing. The eventual goal is that your disciple would lead a circle by themselves and then repeat the process with others. Look for ways to provide full leadership responsibilities. You can release them to your group and begin another, or release them to begin another group.
- Coach by encouragement. Encouragement is the crucial element in long term multiplication. It's situational. The key is doing whatever is needed to keep multiplication momentum moving forward.
- Coach via meetings. At first coaching meetings may be on a monthly basis. Eventually that may occur on an as needed basis. But they should never completely cease. Disciple making is a lifetime relationship.
- Coach by using a simple template. The following set of questions has proven helpful. They focus on the past, present and future.
- The past: "Do you have a God story to share?" God stories are evidence of God's presence in disciple making.
- The present: "How is your soul?" and "Do you have a meaningful One Thing study to share?"
- The future: "What is your next step, and how can we help you get there?" Looking at the Local Overview is very helpful. Another good question is, "Do you have any questions about disciple making that we have not addressed?"
Consult Grow Groups for information about training multiple leaders on a church wide basis.