We Started Small Groups And Churches, But They Didn’t Multiply. So Now What?


Christian leaders often ask, “Why don’t our groups multiply?” To sustain multiplication, your church must deal in a quite different way with each of three types of people, just as New Testament churches did: seekers, seeders and feeders. On the cutting edge of church reproduction movements in pioneer fields, these three types can thrive simultaneously in the same group. In the West, however, ‘feeder’ congregations become so gluttonous that they swallow up the other two types. Be very sure to deal with each type of folk, giving special attention to seekers, whom Western churches often neglect.








Cell made up mainly of…


Folk who need Jesus


New believers


Maturing believers


Duration of cell…


Short-lived (members become a seeder cell when baptized)


Often lasts until members run out of friends who respond to Jesus




Cell normally hosted by…


Seeker like Cornelius, Lydia, Levi, Zacheus, or a new believer


New believer, normally


Mature believer


Led by…


New believer, coached by a POY!


New believer, coached by a POY!


Mature believer


Chance of reproducing…


Nil (people do not yet know Jesus)


High, provided the new leader is being coached by a POY!


Seldom multiply enough to sustain movements but can mobilize workers




Receive the living Christ (not just learn facts about Him)


Sow gospel seed among friends and start new seeker cells


• Edify maturing believers
• Keep those not interested in multiplying


Main activities…


Partying as Jesus did, with activities to gather people (games, barbecues, sports, outings) and testimonies by new believers, prayer for healing, etc.



Learning to obey Jesus’ basic commands, loving one another and starting lots of seeker cells


Bible study, fellowship, mobilizing for ministry, commissioning workers

Common hindrances…


• Fear of losing of control.
• Trying to push camels through the needle’s eye (Matt. 19:24).
• Teaching dogma prematurely.
• Going directly to feeder cells.
• Wasting time trying to force feeder cells to multiply


• Fear of doing what Jesus and His apostles did.
• Jumping the gun by taking people into feeder cells before they finish reaching friends.
• Failing to embrace their cell as the spiritual body that gives them their main pastoral care.



• Talkative folk and attention seekers.
• Excessive monologue.
• Discouraging workers.



• ‘Shake the dust’ where camels
fail to respond (find responsive people: Mark 6:11).
• Risk doing what Jesus and His apostles did ? let seekers gather friends to meet Jesus and hear what he’s doing among them



• Let new believers who are family heads do at once what God requires of all family heads: shepherd their families and close friends. (You are neither ordaining them nor naming them as elders.)
• Workers coach the new leaders.


• Obey the New Testament ‘one-another’ commands.
• Dialogue instead of monologue.
• Plan member’s weekly ministry and encourage workers.


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