In 2018, I had the privilege of coaching a young discipleship pastor in the southeast. We connected by email and then by phone. He was alarmed by the fact that his D-Groups were not multiplying. After asking several questions to discern his situation and church context, I said, “Perhaps your groups are not reproducing because you are failing to plant the seed of multiplication in them.”
Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation where your groups are not replicating. So how can we be intentional in planting the seed of multiplication into our groups? Here are what I believe are a few best practices.
Sign A D-Group Covenant
I have found that it is very helpful to include in your D-Group Covenant a line about reproduction and multiplication. The covenant I use includes this statement:
“I will begin praying about replicating the discipleship process upon completion of this group.”
So from the very beginning you are letting your D-Group know that you are investing in them so that they can invest in others.
The Apostle Paul said it this way to Timothy who he had poured his life into; “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2, (CSB)
As we often say, the gospel came to you because it was heading to someone else.The gospel came to you because it was heading to someone else. Click To Tweet
Speak Often About Replication
During the course of your D-Group be intentional about saying things like, “When you lead your D-Group” or “as you journey together with your group” you are going to want to emphasize this or that or be intentional about leading in this way. You’re going to plant these seed thoughts or ideas in their hearts and minds so that God can take them and bring about a rich harvest of seeing things from His viewpoint.
Share And Unpack Scripture That Emphasizes Multiplication
My “go-to” verses are Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2. For example, in 2 Timothy 2:2 we’re reminded that the steward of the gospel must entrust the gospel to faithful men who can give it away to the next generation. In fact, there are 4 generations mentioned here in this verse. First, Christ gives the gospel to Paul. Second, Paul then entrusts the gospel to Timothy. Then Timothy was to entrust it to faithful men. Finally, those faithful men were to teach others also.
The question naturally becomes, who are you investing in? What are you equipping and empowering them with? As a disciplemaker you have been entrusted with the spiritual treasure of the gospel. You can leave a lasting legacy if you invest what you have received in the lives of others and then empower them to do the same. You can change the world from right where you live when you make disciples who make disciples.Who are you investing in? What are you equipping and empowering them with? As a disciplemaker you have been entrusted with the spiritual treasure of the gospel. Click To Tweet
Start Praying For New Groups
About two months prior to launching, I usually get my group to list those they are planning to approach and invite to be in their new D-Group. Either on a white board or on a piece of paper, get your group members to list those they are praying about so that the whole group can pray both for themselves and the others in the group.
Each week take some time to share about their new groups. D-Group members can celebrate with one another when those they approach and invite to be in the group and they can comfort and console one another when they say no to being in a group.
Stay In Touch
Catch up with former group members after they start new groups. Check with them to see if there’s any help or advice you can offer with any challenges or obstacles they are experiencing. Your encouragement will go a long way to strengthen and solidify the new D-Groups.