The first one was very responsive. He said he felt convicted as I spoke. They had just divided their group. They had a group of fifty and they divided it into two groups of twenty-five. As I spoke he realized that it might have been better to divide them into three groups or four smaller groups. Perhaps they need to divide again. But, it was a very traumatic thing dividing their group and he was afraid if they go back to their group and suggest that they divide again, well, they might have a mutiny on their hands. I agreed with him that this might not be the right time to divide.
I talked to another man about dividing. I asked him how many were in his group right now. He said about ten. For me, this is a little soon to think about dividing. I encouraged him to keep growing his group and divide around twenty. He was very open to that.
I talked to another lady who was not responsive at all. She said her pastor and Minister of Education had talked to her about dividing. She said she had talked to the class and they were totally opposed to it. In fact, many of them told her that if they did divide, that they would flat drop out of the group. What is one to do?
Well, for starters, presentation is everything. What do you think she said to her group? Do you think she said, “Great news, guys, God has blessed this group; things are going great. We have the opportunity to do it all over again. I want to set a challenge for you that we divide and grow and divide and grow and divide and grow. If we keep it up, we can reach a thousand people for God in the next ten years, just by participating in the system. I am in! I am excited about what God will do!”
Do you think that is what she said? I don’t think so. I think it was more like this, “Bad news, guys. I talked to the pastor this week, and they want to split up our class. Can you believe it? I was pretty upset. I told him I would talk with you about it and see how you felt. I will tell you how I feel–not good. How do you guys feel about them splitting us up?”
Presentation is everything.
But, let’s suppose I am wrong about this presentation. Let’s suppose that the teacher went to the group with an enthusiastic spirit and a good attitude and they still did not buy into the vision. Well, then it might be timing that is the issue. I would go back to the drawing board and, as Bill Hybels says it, “Teach my way out of this problem.” I would vision-cast about having a soldier mentality and the expansion of the kingdom and the great commission and the mustard seed starting small and growing large and the wonderful adventure of following the calling that God has for my life. Now may not be the time to divide, but I would teach my way into a situation where six months from now I had a different group I was working with. I may not be able to teach everyone to get excited about it, but I could get some. You don’t need everyone excited. You need enough excited to form the core of a new group.
There are a million reasons why now may not be the best time to divide your group. That is not the issue. The issue is whether or not you embrace the vision of groups growing and dividing, growing and dividing, growing and dividing.
Groups that embrace the vision can reach a thousand people in the next ten years. Groups that don’t will maintain at ten or twenty or fifty–but they will simply maintain. In order to join God in a worldwide movement of doubling groups, we must embrace the vision of groups growing and dividing, growing and dividing, growing and diving.