The following is a disciple-making strategy for multiplying small groups in the course of a baseball season.
reaching & teaching
- Time Period: Spring Training
- Main Focus: Live out your faith and look for people to join you
Start with consistent prayer asking the Holy Spirit to draw men to you and to grant you boldness in being a witness for Christ in the clubhouse. This is a time of high intentionality in inviting teammates to spend more time with you in a context that allows them to observe your faith in action. This could be invitations to do early work together, eat together, drink coffee together, workout together, play golf together, commute to the field together or live together.
Invite teammates to chapel and to check out the Spring Training bible studies and offer to pick them up and ride together. You must make an effort to listen to these people, learn about these people, love on these people and then use language around these people that begins to teach them about your faith in an informal type of way.
teaching & training
- Time Period: Regular Season
- Main Focus: Cultivate and nurture a small group focused on growing together
Take time to fast and pray for who you should invite to start your group. Begin a small group that meets weekly (home or away) and is devoted to fellowship, prayer and bible teaching. Be clear early on that the main goal is for men in your group to one day do this with their own group. Lead the group through the Multiply Series or 1-2 studies from the Grow Together app.
Ask your team chaplain to come along side of you so the home and road studies become one season-long weekly study. If any guys are willing then give them the opportunity to take turns leading the group. Challenge one another to actually apply the things you study each week and cultivate a high-trust environment with transparency and high accountability among the men. Be in constant prayer for God to turn one or two of these men into new leaders by the end of the season.
training & sending
- Time Period: Offseason
- Main Focus: Prepare new leaders to go and start their own new groups
Take time to fast and pray for God to confirm those whom you might feel are ready to lead a small group like this next year. If you can't identify a leader from your group during the course of the season then try to just stay connected with the guys in your group throughout the offseason and build on that for the next year. Set up a weekly small group meeting through video conference, go on a missions trip with guys from your group, invite them to go to the Increase Conference and attend one of the men's retreats in January with them.
If you can identify potential leaders then start practical training (over phone or video conference if necessary) on how to start their own group next year. Go through the Grow Together Manual and help them work through the practical assignments and exercises. Show them the example multiplying strategy for a baseball season and encourage them that Phase One (see above) starts as soon as they get to Spring Training. After going through the manual, take time each week to discuss the Core Doctrinal Statements Study. And make it a priority to use the missions trips, conferences and retreats available to you as opportunities to further your ministry and relationship with these types of men from within your group.