Mid-Atlantic Region of the   
Free Methodist Church of North America   

 

 
Creating new groups and churches
 
Toward Rapid Expansion:
Creating New Groups and Churches
David Harvey
The Key: “Do what God puts in your heart to do” Acts 16:10
I. Send (Leaders)
The first step to rapid expansion is to select a person from your group (church) to start a new group and then to send that person into a community. Preferably this person will be an indigenous member of the group that makes up the community in which they will work.
 The first step is the most important step!  The person “sent” should have the following qualities:
 
                a. Faith – this person has a vibrant love for Jesus in all circumstances of life
b. Faithfulness – this person is faithful to Jesus and the fruit of that is that this is a person who does what they say they will do.
c. Submissive – This person has no problem being submissive to Jesus and to others, and does not avoid accountability. (Note: Accountability and autonomy are the gifts the sending group gives to the new group.)
 
II. Start (Groups; Wesley “Classes”)
The person that is “sent” will be sent with a specific plan.  He or she will be strictly accountable on at least a weekly basis to the sending group for accomplishing the flowing steps.
 
1. Intercede…
If you think that God might be calling you to invest your life in expanding the Kingdom, simply begin to pray about starting a group.
- Ask God to confirm to you that he wants you to start a group.
- Ask God to show you specific persons you should invite to be in your group.
- Ask God to help you meet new acquaintances to invite to your group
- Ask which of the people you already know should be invited to your group
 
2. Immerse …yourself in the community
- Begin to immerse yourself in the community/meet as many people as you can:
                - Join service clubs
                - Frequent restaurants and meet people
                - Get invited to family gatherings
- Spend time in the community and look for “God moments” when He brings people across your path
- Invite someone into your home at least once a week
- Begin to build relationships with people and identify the people that God wants you to invite to your group
- Offer care (grace) to people with no strings attached.  Care for them as people, not to get them into a group
 
3. Invite …people to the group
- Plan on getting one person out of every six that you invite to attend.  Do not take a refusal personally; value all people
- Invite people that are “desperate for Jesus”; Sow Gospel seeds at every opportunity (If you sow abundantly you          will reap abundantly!)
- Keep pushing until something happens!
 
4. Initiate …group meetings
- Have a plan for the group meetings – (i.e. Life Transformation Group).  The plan should include discussion of scripture, measuring of our life against scripture, prayer for each other, and prayer for the lost.
- Offer Jesus’ grace at every opportunity possible.  Make evangelism a natural part of group life.
 
5. Intercede…
- Start the cycle over –intercede that God raise up a leader that can be sent to birth a new group out of the present group
 
III. Systematize (Churches; Wesley “Societies”)
Most groups will remain groups and these groups will continually morph into different groups of different people.  Some of the groups will however become churches.  Those that become churches will be groups that grow larger and begin to systemize their life together. They will create the following systems.
A. Worship system
B. Outreach System
C. Discipleship System