What about birthing groups?

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Q: “Shouldn’t we train our groups to birth?  Shouldn’t we guide them to develop an apprentice and then help them birth a new group?  Isn’t that kind of multiplication worth promoting?”

A: The key is that birthing can happen…but is not a high probability.  If you’re talking percentages, it’s a low probability.  Think about your last group that successfully birthed.  What were the things that group had going for them that your other groups did not?  Can you train for that?  Or were those differences beyond training?  Successful births almost always have more to do with the group have more than one highly capable leader candidate who is also highly relational.  Can you train for that?

The question might be, “How can we make birthing more likely?”  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Help your groups to practice rotating facilitators.  Simply taking turns leading the discussion will raise the confidence of some of your members.  Multiple members capable and comfortable at facilitating the discussion increases the probability that a group can birth.
  2. Help your groups to practice rotating host homes.  When a group can only meet at the leader’s home (or one home) it makes it more difficult for them to meet when the leader is unavailable.  Meeting consistently, even when the leader is unavailable, increases the probability that a group could birth.
  3. Begin to measure how many of your groups rotate facilitators and host homes.  Make rotating a “win.”
  4. Encourage your groups to use material that makes it easy to facilitate.  Teacher driven groups rarely birth.
  5. Periodically encourage your groups to consider taking a six-week small group vacation and individually help launch new groups.  When used along with a church-wide campaign, this idea can help many of your group members to experience what it feels like to help others.  That is often the missing ingredient that leads to the willingness to set aside their own interests for the needs of others.

These are just a few ways you can raise the probability of birthing.  Can you raise the probability to a point where it could be your primary method of launching new groups?  Probably not.  Which is why the host strategy or the connection strategy or more effective methods of launching.

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