Using an agricultural analogy, the ideal process for LIFEgroup formation looks like this:
1 -- Germination. A group of people decide they would like to partner together for spiritual growth. They determine together to launch a new LIFEgroup.
2 -- Formation. Having determined how they plan to be formative, caring, and missional together; they invite a few people to join them. At a given time, they launch their group.
3 -- Invitation. Once the group is moving, they are careful to not lose sight of the ongoing need to expand their relationships to include others in the group. Living missionally will mean people are regularly being invited to and added to the group.
4 -- Multiplication. Eventually a group will grow in two ways. They will grow numerically and reach a point where they can no longer foster the same type of relationships. They will also grow spiritually, and some group members will discover and develop the necessary gifts to launch and lead a new LIFEgroup. Rather than fear a divisive "split", the group should embrace and celebrate this growth as an opportunity to begin the process again by germinating a new group.