3. DO NOT HAVE A WRITTEN VISION AND PLAN TO MAKE DISCIPLES
Keep this all organic. No planning. You don’t want this to look like an organization, or even worse, organized religion. I mean, isn’t that how the Apostle Paul did things? He just got up, went out, and hoped for the best. If you have a written vision or plan, then there are expectations. Where there are expectations, people might feel like they need to get involved. If there is a plan, you have to actually think through your mission and hold each other accountable. If there is a plan, you can see the steps it’s going to take to make disciples in a particular area. Not only this, but these plans give you specifics of how to pray to the Spirit on how he can accomplish this plan or open your eyes to the plan that he desires. Too much planning actually leads to too much dependence on the Spirit, and you wouldn’t want to be one of “those churches.”
4. DON’T INTERACT WITH UNBELIEVERS
Make sure you focus only on the “one anothers” in the New Testament. What does it matter if Jesus taught his disciples how to disciple in the midst of unbelievers? If you interact with unbelievers they get in the way. Unbelievers don’t always believe what you believe, and you want people around you who believe like you so that everyone gets along smoothly. If you interact with unbelievers, they might revile you or hate you. What happens if an unbeliever actually watches your life and sees who the real Jesus is? What if they decide to follow him, too? That messes up your group dynamic that has been together for the last few years. Instead, just take care of each other and pray like crazy that Jesus returns as fast as possible.
5. KEEP IT AN EVENT INSTEAD OF A RHYTHM
If you can keep our MC looking like an event each week, then that will make sure that people see it as merely another type of small group. That way, you can just get together, have dinner, study the Bible, and then see each other again in another week. You don’t need to advance the mission; they can just keep coming to your group instead. Plus, if you keep it an event, less people desire to have another meeting in their life or in their home. They will feel overwhelmed to plan everything around this event, and it will add stress to their lives. If you add stress to someone’s life, you definitely will not get all those busy people desiring to multiply the group. Rhythms bring forth the idea of freedom and rest and fun, the idea that it’s part of life rather than a meeting. This is a tempting idea that you don’t want to convey to outsiders.
6. TEACH AT THE MEETINGS LIKE A PROFESSIONAL
One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t multiply is to make sure you train and teach those in your MC in a way where they’ll say, “I could never do that.” So, write up your own Bible studies with quizzes, teach from the Greek Alphabet, and wow everyone with your expansive knowledge that rivals the Apostle Paul. The more you are able to do things in your MC that cannot be transferrable, the better. That way, everyone will know that there is no way they can emulate what their leader is doing. If they can’t emulate, how will anyone multiply? Bingo. Never use material that someone could wrap their minds around or easily teach to others. Always reinvent the wheel and make sure your community understands that if they want to lead an MC, they must get more training than an astronaut.
7. DON’T TALK ABOUT MULTIPLICATION OR THE SPIRIT
One of the easiest ways to create an atmosphere of never multiplying is by simply never talking about it. Make sure people don’t expect it. Healthy things multiply, and you don’t want to give off that vibe. Talk about how great it is to have the same people in the MC for so long, and remind them that outsiders would mess up the chemistry. Who cares if you haven’t impacted other people’s lives, you’ve impacted the group and that should be enough! The person who is primarily responsible for multiplication is the Spirit, so make sure that he is left completely out of the conversation. Don’t talk about him. He’s dangerous. He has a ton of power and has done things you should only read about in Acts and not experience in your own life.
Disclaimer: Please know that this is purely fun and sarcastic. This is not meant to hurt anyone or to mock anyone. My real hope is that you’ll see some things you can change or start working towards so that you can multiply your MCs for the sake of making disciples of Jesus.
[author image=”https://vergenetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/sethmcbee.png” ]Seth McBee is the adopted son of God, husband of one wife, and father of three. He’s a graduate of Seattle Pacific University with a finance degree. By trade Seth is an Investment Portfolio Manager, serving as president of McBee Advisors, Inc. as well as a MC leader/trainer/coach and executive team member of the GCM Collective. Currently Seth lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife Stacy and their 3 children, Caleb, Coleman and Madelynn. He is also the artist and co-author of the wildly popular (and free!) eBook, Be The Church: Discipleship & Mission Made Simple. Twitter: @sdmcbee.[/author]