Small things make a BIG difference

The difference between doubling and non-doubling teachers is not as great as you might think.

Doubling teachers are not very different from non-doubling teachers.
  • They are not a lot more spiritual
  • They are not a lot more educated
  • They don't spend a lot more time
  • They are not more dedicated
  • They are not a lot better at teaching

I could go on and on, but you get the point. They are not a lot different in most ways. They have a little difference that makes a huge difference. Before I tell you what that difference is, lets review what a difference it can make.

  • The fastest growing church in the world is growing through doubling groups.
  • The world's largest church--some three quarters of a million members--has grown through doubling groups.
  • Andy Stanley is betting the farm on doubling groups
  • Doubling groups are creating amazing results all around the world through church planting movements. Most of the groups are not professionally led, congregational-style groups with choirs and youth programs. They are more like we think of Sunday School classes than they are like we think of churches. They are mostly lay-led house churches.
  • Doubling groups are what all growing churches have in common. On the stage they are very different--they are contemporary and traditional, Calvinistic and Arminian, they are seeker-driven and not so much, they are purpose driven and, as I heard one pastor say it, "We never got around to writing a purpose statement." On the stage and in the pastor's office they are very different. But, in the pew, they are all growing through doubling groups.
  • A group of 10 will reach 1000 people in 10 years by doubling every 18 months.

Unbelievable? Work it out for yourself.

  Number of Years Number reached
  Start 10
  1.5 20
  3 40
  4.5 80
  6 160
  7.5 320
  9 640
  10 1000

Starting with 10 people you can reach 1000 people in 10 years through groups that double ever 18 months. If every group in you church doubled every 18 months, in ten years. . . just add two 00s to your current attendance.

And the amazing thing is, this is happening in many places all around the world. Still more amazing, doubling teachers are not a lot different than non-doubling teachers.

  • They are not a lot more spiritual.
  • They don't work a lot harder.
  • They are not a lot more dedicated
  • They are not a lot better at teaching

What is the difference? This small difference makes a huge difference:

Doubling teachers joyfully, personally, enthusiastically, sincerely embrace the vision of
growing and dividing,
growing and dividing,
growing and dividing.

It is impossible to have a rapid expansion of doubling groups except that we joyfully, personally, enthusiastically, and sincerely embrace the vision of growing and dividing. If we hesitate, if we resist, if we make excuses at every opportunity to divide, we won't reach 1000 people in ten years. If we do, we will.

They embrace the vision joyfully. It is not a drudgery, a necessity, or a duty. It is a joy.

They embrace the vision personally. It is not put on them by the pastor, the Minister of Education or the Sunday School director. They personally want their group to grow and divide, grow and divide, grow and divide.

They embrace the vision enthusiastically. They are not half-hearted about it. They don't drag their feet. They are not reluctant. They are completely whole-hearted about the vision of growing and dividing, growing and dividing, growing and dividing.

They embrace the vision sincerely. If you were their best friend and you caught them in a quiet moment of honesty, they would tell you that they really want their group to grow and divide, grow and divide, grow and divide.

For non-doubling teachers this is not even close. They are often verbally, vocally, enthusiastically opposed to their group growing, and especially to their group dividing.

I have heard numerous pastors and Ministers of Education tell me stories of how 80 year old, purple-headed ladies pointed their boney fingers into that young minister's  face and said, "Sonny-boy, don't you ever think about dividing my class."

These teachers, are not a lot different from teachers who are doubling.

  • They spend a similar amount of time

  • They have a similar amount of teaching ability

  • They are similarly dedicated to God

But, they have a huge difference in terms of effectiveness for God. Non-doubling teachers are not bad people. They are not evil, sinful, wicked people. They are good people in many cases. They are people who love God, love the church, read the Bible, serve, give and sing. But, they are not incredibly effective for God. And, their limitation in terms of effectiveness comes down to one thing: They do not. . .

joyfully, personally, enthusiastically, sincerely embrace the vision of
growing and dividing,
growing and dividing,
growing and dividing.

I want to invite you to be a teacher who is greatly used by God. Most of you are dedicated enough, spiritual enough, talented enough. But, you lack this one thing: joyfully, personally, enthusiastically, and sincerely embracing the vision of growing and dividing, growing and dividing, growing and dividing.

Embrace the dream!