Beware, this is not for the faint-hearted.
It's a good thing to plant a church. But over the last few years I've been arrested and disturbed by the thought of multiplication, churches planting churches that plant churches. Instead of planting one tree, think about planting a forest, in fact planting forests. I confess I missed what I now believe is Jesus’ divine strategy: multiplication. I now see this is God's passion and purpose; I can't believe how I missed it. I wonder if we've been addicted to addition, prioritising gathering, saying to people 'come' while not prioritising and emphasising the commission of Jesus to 'go’ – especially in the West.
Please note: Every thought below assumes that lost people matter to God; Multiplication Mindset (MM) people hold this passionately. As such, people with an MM are always praying & thinking about how they can reach one more person for Jesus.
What are the characteristics of a Multiplication Mindset person?
1. They understand discipleship is THE key. It's the number 1 priority to multiplication. After all, isn't this what Jesus commanded us to do?
"Who is discipling you?" "Who are you discipling?" Leaders of MM churches are interested in how many are being apprenticed, and how many apprentices are leading in mission.
2. They don’t look at the attendance size of the church to plant church-planting churches - it's always about leader readiness.
3. Often church is: 'We can do it: you can help'. They say: "YOU CAN DO IT: WE CAN HELP."
It realizes the priesthood of all believers.
From volunteer to a person who is called.
How can we empower more people to be involved in kingdom activity? People don't ask in MM churches, "Am I called to ministry?"
They ask, "What is the ministry God called me to?"
4. The MM person says, let’s pastor the city. Not just our own church.
5. The MM person says: Sending capacity is the focus, not simply seating capacity.
6. The MM person develops an apostolic atmosphere, an apostolic culture. This is a high priority.
7. The MM person asks: Does the mission have a church, not does the church have a mission?
8. The MM person has a "yes" attitude. It doesn't have a bias to a no attitude.
9. The MM person has a minimalist theology about what church is. It simply wrestles with, “What is church for us?” It does not in any way water down Scripture.
10. The MM person is about planting church-planting churches. It results in new networks and movements of churches.
11. The MM person says, Let's give a significant % of finance for church-planting churches. (As a guideline at least 10%.)
12. The MM person focuses on releasing people and ministries before prioritizing bigger buildings. Here's a radical thought: Are you willing to make church multiplication a higher priority than church facilities? If you are not in a building yet, are you willing to plant your first church before building your first building?
13. The MM person understands that local churches are the key drivers to begetting churches. Central vision is good but lacks greatness. A defining aspect of multiplication is churches beginning churches. Local churches take responsibility and ownership for planting churches.
Todd Wilson from Exponential writes: "The prevailing value we place on accumulation is at the core of why less than 4 percent of U.S. churches ever reproduce (or why greater than 96 percent of churches never reproduce). Ponder the consequences of less than 4 percent of adults ever having children.
Lately, however, I’ve been encouraged that an increasing number of church leaders are becoming discontented with the elusive, addition-focused scorecard that never satisfies. These leaders are wrestling with redefining their success—shifting their focus and behaviors from attracting and accumulating to releasing and sending. They get that our “sentness” is at the heart of Kingdom multiplication and the fruit of biblical disciple-making". (Exponential newsletter - email Feb. 2017)
I believe he makes an important point. What do you think? In Europe particularly, MM people are nearly non-existent. Yet I am absolutely convinced the ONLY way to reach the nations of Europe is with an Multiplication Mindset.
A few Questions:
1. Which Multiplication Mindsets (MMs) speak to you? How do they speak to you, in what way do they challenge you?
2. What can you do about it now?
3. What do you think about what Todd Wilson says?
4. Which MMs do you feel you are functioning in, and in what way?
4. What MMs can you action over the next year?
5. If you are part of a church leadership team, how could you get others in a conversation regarding MMs?