Preventing Group Elephantiasis

In the medical world, it's worrisome when an organism won't stop growing bigger. We want young organisms to grow, but at some point it's appropriate (and important) for the growth to stop. Continued growth will inevitably lead to serious and even terminal health concerns. 

The same is true in churches, whether you're talking about small groups, Sunday School classes, Adult Bible Fellowships, or the church as a whole. At some point (and it's different for each group just as it's different for each organism), Group Elephantiasis will be terminal. 

The end result for groups can't be just to get bigger. If that's where the vision stops, it will seal the fate of the group. The end result for which groups should aspire (much like organisms) should be reproduction. Otherwise, the group will get so large that the identifiable traits that once attracted people to it will become grotesque and bloated, only barely resembling the traits people once recognized. To the person who is familiar with the group, they'll hardly notice the change over time. The person seeing the group for the first time will have a different experience. 

We try to build mulitplication/reproduction into the DNA of new groups at McKinney because we recognize that the best way to get more good DNA is not to just grow bigger body parts; it's to pass the good DNA along to young, healthy groups that can make better use of the good DNA and pass it along to others. 

So how does it work? I'll try to tell you in the next two days. First: how to multiply/reproduce a group tomorrow. Wednesday, I'll talk about what not to do.