Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeAll The NewsHEALTHY CHURCH: P5 Multiplication

HEALTHY CHURCH: P5 Multiplication

Healthy churches reproduce. The healthiest and most biblical method of church planting is churches planting churches. In The American Church in Crisis, David Olson stated that over 600,000 churches will need to be planted by the year 2050 just to keep up with population growth and to replace the 3,000–4,000 churches that are closing their doors every year. Our vision at Healthy Church Solutions is to start new churches while strengthening existing churches. The vision for BMA Missions is “to see every partner church around the world engaged in the process of starting a church.”

The initial reaction is to rationalize why we cannot be a part of that vision. “We are too small!” “We do not have enough money!” “We do not know how or what to do!” Yet, every church is commanded to carry out the Great Commission and we desire to help your church determine its level of involvement in this church planting, church strengthening movement. Every church, big and small, can and should be involved in church multiplication. It begins by multiplying disciples, then multiplying leaders, which leads to multiplying churches. The opportunities are everywhere, and our associational structure gives us a pathway of cooperation.

• Pray! While I realize this is understood by most, we must be careful to not overlook this all-important step in the process. In our DCPI Essentials training (which is Bible-principle based, not a model), there are four phases. The first phase is The Macedonia Phase, which is God to you. This step must involve discerning what God is asking you and your church to do and how He desires you to accomplish it. You must set aside scheduled times and days that are dedicated to prayer and fasting as you seek His vision for your church. Consider looking into our Church Prayer System training by emailing us (heidi@bmaam.com) and asking for the three levels of training. Manley Beasley stated, “The mark of a godly man or church is that everything they do is God-initiated.”

• Prepare! The preparation phase is so important to the church, the church planter and the missionary. This is where you, as a church, must put into practice a biblically-solid discipleship pathway and begin developing a leadership pipeline. Consider how you will train your people in evangelism/discipleship to make sure you are practicing what you are preaching. This training could include our Multiplication Workshop, which teaches the simple reproducible process of making disciples that make disciples that make disciples. You should also consider looking into the Good Soil Training. It reminds us that gospel information, apart from a relationship with a real live Christian, will have very limited results. With our eyes on the Great Commission, we must develop transferrable methods that empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

• Partner! Church planters and missionaries could not accomplish what they are accomplishing without partners who have committed to praying, encouraging, visiting and financially supporting them. They must be willing to give the rest of their lives to suffering for and serving the church. Money is not the limiting factor — leadership is!We must create a culture where we answer the call to the mission, not salary.If we rely on external motivation (a paycheck) to reach the world, it will never happen. There must be an internal motivation and passion to live out God’s calling and do whatever it takes to be obedient to His will. God gives churches and individuals the opportunity to partner with Him and come alongside others to reach our nation and the world for Christ. Ed Stetzer stated, “What is worse than being lost? Being lost and having no one looking for you!” Begin where you are right now!

Plant! Do we really need more churches? Do we not need to just focus on helping what we already have? The answer to both is, “Yes.” Even if you live in the Bible Belt, where 25-30% of the population attend church on any given Sunday, that means there are not enough churches to seat everyone if they all showed up. While our goal is not seating capacity but rather sending capacity, it illustrates that, in a city of 30,000 there are, at a minimum, 15,000 to 20,000 people who desperately need Jesus. Alan Redpath has stated this about membership in the average American church: 5% do not exist, 10% cannot be found, 25% do not attend, 50% do not show up on Sunday, 75% present do not attend the prayer meeting, 90% have no family worship and 95% have never shared the gospel with others. This is an outcry to start new churches and strengthen existing churches.

• Parent! This requires a much larger commitment from the church. It could be a larger amount of financial support and a closer relationship with the church planter/missionary family, but it could also involve raising up, discipling, assessing, training and sending a team out of the church to birth a daughter congregation. A parent takes full responsibility for their children, but usually needs some partners (brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents) to help with the nurturingof the new baby. The Churches Planting Churches (DCPI) track is a must with a lesson on “Determining Your Involvement” in the church plant. Every church ought to multiply. Some say, “We are not healthy enough to multiply!” Then your goal should be to become healthy enough so you can multiply!

The truth is you cannot disconnect church planting from New Testament missions. It was not always the result of their disciple-making efforts, but it was always the goal. Maturity is the ability to reproduce, and the Lord’s work deserves that you work hard to provide your church with an easy process for a disciple-based church multiplication movement. Let’s get moving!