A RED group is, by definition, Reproducing, Evangelistic and Discipleship orientated.
What that means is that the group intends to multiply. It intends to multiply through reaching out to others rather than waiting for them to come. And it intends to grow people to be like Jesus. How many of those do you have in your church? How many of those would you like to have? You probably have more in your church than you think.
Here I am going to use the word ‘Evangelistic’ in a broader term. In this article I am defining ‘evangelistic’ as the act of reaching out to those uninvolved with the intention of involving them. A lose definition but a helpful one. A mindset of reaching out beyond our own group is contagious and will lead to a desire for evangelism toward seekers.
Within any church there are a lot of small groups of people. Some of these sets are organised and some aren’t. And they go by all kinds of names. Bible Study Groups, Connect Groups, Care Groups, Prayer Groups, Youth Meetings, MOPS, ALPHA, Committees, Teams, Worship Teams, Ministry Teams to name a few.
Although they all have different purposes they all have a few things in common. They are small. Each group can grow through recruiting outsiders, growing them, developing leaders and giving birth to new groups. The church (and God’s Kingdom) will grow as these groups multiple.
Firstly, they are a small group. By definition a small group is small. Sounds obvious I know. The strength of growing and multiplying small groups is that it decentralises ministry. For example, if all the pastoral care was in the hands of one person then as the church grew the quality of pastoral care would diminish. If the pastoral care was decentralised across a growing network of small groups then the quality could be maintained as the church grew. Likewise, in a decentralised network if one group leader is struck with illness (or needs to step down due to sin) the whole network isn’t affected.
Secondly, each group has outsiders that they could recruit to make the group larger, develop new leaders and birth new groups with a similar purpose. This is also true of a worship team. If you have 1 drummer, 2 guitarists and , 1 keyboardists and 3 singers who make up the worship team and they sought to RED their group then purpose over the course of a year or 2 you would have 2 worship teams. This could lead to a second service or even a church plant.
Lastly, when every group (team, committee) within the church is looking to reproduce leaders, recruit new people and help each grow the impact is a growing church. When different groups in your church take on board a reproducing, evangelistic, discipleship mindset it affects everything. The guy at the sound desk starts to ask who else could be discipled in their role. The drummer starts to help others to learn, not just the drums, but how to love others through music and worship.
Which of the two scenarios would you prefer?
A team of 2 greeters who faithfully, cheerfully, and lovingly meet people at the door for 10 years.
A team of 2 greeters who faithfully, cheerfully and lovingly invite people to be a part of their team – their RED group. As new people join their group they begin to disciple them in hospitality. As the new team members learn how to create a warm welcome for visitors they in turn also recruit others and disciple them. As the team grows they find new ways to offer hospitality to visitors. They make sure that no visitor is left standing alone after the church service. They spend extended time with guests. They help connect those on the fringe with connect groups and affinity groups. More than just meeting and greeting, they disciple others; they grow people, grow a culture of hospitality, and expand how that happens.