Most small groups and small group leaders are sleeping giants. Satan wants to keep them that way, so he constantly whispers lies to small group leaders about what they can’t do. Satan is defeated when small group leaders get a dream of what they and their group can become. Their ability to make a difference for God’s kingdom immediately rises.
Effective small groups have staggering potential. Our church began as a single small group meeting in my basement; it now has over one hundred small groups. The Methodist church traces its beginning to a small group that met at Oxford University, and today it has over 11 million members.
If a small group leader multiplies his group into just one other multiplying group every year for ten years, the results are incredible. After the first year, 1 has become 2. At the end of the second year, 2 has become 4. After the third year, 4 has become 8. Then 8 groups become 16, 16 become 32 groups, and 32 become 64 groups after the sixth year! Then if multiplication continues annually, 64 groups give birth to 128, 128 groups to 256, 256 groups to 512, and 512 groups become 1028 groups by the end of the tenth year. Over 1,000 groups in ten years! Such is the possible result of a single small group!
Effective small groups are the untapped potential of the local church. Not only can they multiply to reach large numbers of people, but they can be spiritual hospitals for the hurting and hothouses for spiritual growth. They can be the breeding ground for leaders and the launching pad for spiritual warfare. They can give people a feeling of belonging. Effective small groups can create evangelism teams. Yet this potential often goes unrealized without a dream.
Someone observed that the potential of a man is measured by the goals he pursues. Few people realize even a small fraction of their potential. Having a dream helps a small group leader begin to realize his awesome potential to make a difference for God.
— The 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders by Dave Earley