I always knew that multiplication played a role within Missional Communities. I read about it, and even attempted to map it out. However, even though I thought I had an understanding of it (which I didn’t), the simple fact that I never saw it caused me to miss the opportunities when it was in front of me…SEVERAL times!
That’s right, in our first 2 years of doing student GoCommunities, I missed the opportunity to multiply on 3 specific instances. At one point, 2 of our GoCommunities had 40-45. Both of them had developed 2 distinct groups of students within. But we didn’t multiply. The nutshell story is that because we didn’t multiply both of these GoCos started to dwindle in number (for various reasons) and eventually dropped down over time to around 20-25 students. One of them dropped to about 10 students at one point!
Because of this you would have thought that the following year I would have this figured out in order to prevent same mistake. Nope! We ended up launching a GoCo for 8th grade students halfway through the school year. It blew up! Like 60 students at one house blow up! We should have multiplied that. We easily could have had 3-4 GoCos coming out of this GoCo, each with a distinct mission. But I missed it, yet again. And the numbers eventually dwindled down to 25, simply because of missed opportunities to multiply.
Currently, we have 5 student ministry GoCommunities and we are getting ready to launch our 6th (Song & Story). God is definitely moving in some powerful ways and His grace has kept things going. However, I can’t help but think that if I had been aware of multiplication, and seized those opportunities to multiply, where we would be at – 9,10,11 GoCos? And how many more students would be connected and on mission in intentional communities? With all this said, God has definitely given us clarity in our vision on what it looks like to multiply our GoCos and release students on mission. We are moving forward with new eyes and focused vision. We will talk about this vision, as well as some practical steps, in the next post.
As you venture down the missional community path be aware of the multiplication process. The opportunities to multiply WILL present themselves. Ask God to give you discernment and wisdom in those moments. It’s a beautiful thing when you are able to multiply and commission students to intentionally disciple those around them. On the other side of the coin, it’s a rough road recovering from the failure to multiply.