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P5 MULTIPLICATION CENTERS

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There is a great need for churches that want to go beyond being occasionally involved in a new church plant. There are churches that have a vision to plant multiple churches over an extended time period. It should be our desire to come alongside these kinds of churches to help them be successful in fulfilling their vision.

This will help church with the P5 process:

  • Pray
  • Prepare
  • Partner
  • Parent
  • Plant

What can be provided churches that want to take this step? Over time we can:

  1. Help a multiplying church develop a tested process that produces qualified planting teams that are successful in planting new churches.
  2. Develop a system where the church planting candidates can be recommended with complete confidence because they have proven themselves in their local church. Acts 13:1-3.
  3. Develop a reproducible process, so that when a planter is successful, there is a good reason to say that the process is successful.
  4. Construct a training model that can be the most effective in the context where the planters will be hoping to plant.
  5. Cooperate with with church planting networks and associations in order to partner in this project which will foster encouragement and support for the church planting team.
  6. Provide training that is closely connected to field-based learning experiences. This is to allow a candidate to show success over time. Feedback and adjustment are an integral part of the learning experience.
  7. Provide a final evaluation that ensures that those called place themselves where they can be successful based on their knowledge/skills/wiring.

Multiplication centers are needed to develop a clear process of discipleship that leads potential church planting teams through an apprentice program which has four stages:

  • Stage 1: I do, you watch.
  • Stage 2: I do, you help.
  • Stage 3: You do, I help.
  • Stage 4: You do, I watch.

These are to be church-based training centers that have three major subsystems:

  1. Recruiting System – Finding Planters
  2. Training System – Providing what they need to know and a venue to develop the necessary skills. Develops disciple makers for church planting and the local church.
  3. Deployment System – Developing a strategy to place qualified planers on the field.

There are three levels of leaders that a multiplication center will hopefully produce:

  1. Leaders – these individuals will discern that God has called them to lead out in taking a team with them to plant a church.
  2. Team Members – these individuals are willing to relocate, find jobs, and help support the church planter.
  3. Champions – these people believe they should remain in their home church and they become champions of church

Here is a testimony from my home church where we started our frst center a couple of years ago:

“The Oasis pastors, staff, and church family are honored to have been invited by the BMAA to be a partner in launching a multiplication center. For several years at Oasis we have had men and women of all ages sense a call to ministry. Our challenge has been coaching them to discern the answers to three very important questions.

1. What’s my calling or ministry assignment?

2. Am I called to ministry leadership?

3. Where am I going to serve in order to answer the call or assignment God has given me?

We believe that through partnering with the BMAA by pouring into these men and women, giving them challenging yet practical tools, and coaching them along the way, that they will be able to identify and obediently respond to God’s call on their lives. It’s our goal to identify, equip, and release these leaders to allow God to accomplish his purposes through their lives.

At Oasis we currently have one Multiplication Center in many locations. Those involved meet together in small groups located in Maumelle, Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Bryant. We believe that through the multiplication center, calls will be answered and we will produce disciples that produce disciples.”

Todd West

P.J. Noland

Oasis Church

www.insideoasis.com

P5 MULTIPLICATION

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Allow me to cast a vision for a North American church multiplication movement which is God sized. Dave Olson, the author of The American Church in Crisis, recently said that over 600,000 churches there 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. Paul Becker, the President of Dynamic Church planting International, coined the phrase that God placed on his heart, “700K in the USA.”

This God size vision must be cast nationally but we need to implement it locally. So now allow me to share with you a process and strategy to the preferred future that we believe God desires for all of churches. We have developed a track to help every church carry out the Great Commission and to help each church determine their level of involvement in this movement.

Every church big and small can and should be involved in church multiplication.

First – Pray!

While I realize that this is understood by most we must be careful to not overlook this all important step in this process. In our Dynamic Church Planting International Essentials training (which is Bible principle based not a model) there are four phases; The Macedonia Phase which is God to you, the Ephesus Phase which is You to Your Team, the Jerusalem Phase which is Your Team to the Church, and the Antioch phase which is Your Church to the World. Each phase begins with the same key component; a prayer retreat. We must set aside scheduled times and days that are dedicated to prayer and fasting as we seek His vision for our church. Principle #1 of the DCPI training is the Boss Principle which says, “God is the Lord of church planting and He has a vision for your new daughter church.”

Second – Prepare!

The preparation phase is so important to the church, the church planter, and the missionary. There is the process of assessment that is used to determine an individual’s giftedness, readiness, and where they would be the most beneficial in the Lord’s work. Every church ought to send their possible candidates through the assessment weekend (contact me at larry@bmaam.com). Preparation should also include training such as our Multiplication Workshop which teaches the simple reproducible process of making disciples that make disciples that make disciples.

Our DCPI training has five tracks: Church planting Essentials (for the church planting/missionary team), Churches Planting Churches (for the parent and partner churches), New Church Dynamics (years 2-5 of the church plant), Mentoring Church Planters (how to mentor/coach the planter/missionary), and Church Planting Movements.

With our eyes on the Great Commission we must develop transferrable methods that empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things. What if every church (churches could also cooperate) developed a Ministry Multiplication Center?  I will blog on what that looks like soon!!!

Third – 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 mission not salary.

If we rely on external motivation, a paycheck, to reach the world it will never happen. The planter and missionary must have internal motivation; God’s calling, to do whatever it takes to be obedient to His will for their lives. God gives churches and individuals the opportunity to partner and come alongside of them to reach our nation and the world for Christ.

Fourth – Parent!

This requires a much larger commitment from the church. It could be a larger amount of financial support and 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 nurturing of 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 that you can multiply!

Fifth – Plant!

If we had a sign to hang in the window at our Global Ministry Center it would read, “Church Planters Needed, Apply Inside!” If you think that God might be calling you to church planting we have a tool that you could use to help determine that. The Church Planter Candidate Assessment tool is available on line at cpca.lifeway.com

The truth is that 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 we have worked hard to provide churches an easy process for a disciple based church multiplication movement.

Let’s get moving!

LIVING SENT

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“Live Sent” is a familiar phrase in todays church venacular. You have probably also heard, “It’s not about our seating capacity but our sending capacity.” Being mobile and ready to follow God’s direction in our lives is for every follower of Christ. He does say “follow me” and there should not be any limitations on the location or the address whether here in North America or on another mission field.

  • Here is what living sent involves:
  • Living surrendured to the leadership of the Holy Spirit!
  • Living submitted to His guidance of where He wants you to serve Him!
  • Living with a willingness to go! Living on mission in your zip code!
  • Living determined to share the Gospel!

There are many testimonies of those who have not just talked about living sent but have lived it out in their lives. Families who have sold out, found jobs where God was calling, and helped a church planter by being a part of their launch team. Barnabas had Saul, Paul had Silas, and church planters have those who are willing to live sent. They are willing to pull up their tent stakes, step away from the comfort of family, and begin representing Christ in a new zip code because He asked them to “follow Him.”

Recently while visiting a church plant I heard another story of “living sent” from a young lady who grew up in the church planters youth group. They shared with me how she willingly came to their area and found a job teaching in a public school just so she could help. When I asked her where she worked she told me of a town about 20-30 minutes away. I asked where she lived and she said, “Oh I live here and drive to work because I knew I needed to live near the people God sent me to reach.” That is living sent!

There are multiple stories of couples, families, and individuals who have moved to help church plants such as:

  • Fusion Church in Fountain, Colorado
  • The Summit in Richland, Washington
  • The Refuge in Nixa, Missouri
  • Jacob’s Well in Plano, IL
  • The Bridge in Celina, TX

These church plants were blessed with other followers of Christ who were willing to listen to His leadership in moving to a new location, finding a new job, and beginning a new exciting journey. Each one of them have exciting testimonies of how God provided them other people who stepped out in faith believing God had called them to live sent. Maybe God is calling you to live sent and has placed a burden on your heart to follow in their footsteps? Are you willing to follow Him wherever He is calling you?

What if God were to say to you, “How about Thornton, CO?” You are probably wondering were in the world did that come from? Brain and Piper Cleary are planting CrossRoots church in Thornton and they are faithfully praying that God would send them people to help them reach their zip code for Christ. They are looking for couples, families, or individuals who would move to Thornton to be salt and light. They are praying for disciplemakers who want to build relationships within their circles of influence as they develop!

Ed Stetzer and David Putman in Breaking the Missional Code: You Can Become a Missionary in Your Community say, “One of the defining issues that we have observed over the years is that leaders who break the code seldom if ever do it alone. Working with church planters, you never have a shortage of people with big dreams and visions. It is the nature of those who plant churches or desire to plant churches to want to be paradigm breakers. However, this thing of not doing it alone seems to be the decisive difference in those who want to do it and those who actually get it done.”

Let me ask it once again, “How about Thornton, CO?” Is God asking you to live sent and to help a church planting couple reach their community for Christ. Living sent also requires:

  • Living the Great Commission
  • Focusing on People Far From God
  • Praying for Your Neighbors and Co-Workers
  • Engaging in Spiritual Conversations
  • Ability to Share the Gospel

In The Leadership Ladder: Developing Missional Leaders in the Church Steven Ogne and Kenneth Priddy ask us to evaluate our missional living by asking: “Does it make a discple? Having good missional activities leads to the making of disciples. Expressing God’s love through service is good. Expressing God’s love through relationship is better. Expressing God’s love by leading someone to faith in Jesus Christ, is best. The best missional activities put us in relationship with someone long enough that he or she can, through us, experience Christ and become His follower.”

Live sent!!!

 

I LOVE SUNDAYS

Hal Seed is a friend who has a heart to help churches impact their communities for Christ in healthy ways.  This is not a campaign just to have big numbers but rather in order to connect people to small groups and more importantly introduce them to Christ!  Please look into this great campaign!

 

I LOVE SUNDAYS

By Guest Hal Seed:

Why Every Church Ought to Hold an I Love Sundays Campaign:

In 2005, New Song Church averaged 750 in worship. I had spent the previous five years trying to figure out how to break us out of that plateau. A friend suggested we use Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life Campaign. That went so well, I decided to hold a Church-Wide Campaign twice a year.

I LOVE SUNDAYS 2

 

Today, we average 1,750 in attend. Our ministries saw over 2,000 people come to Christ in 2014. We’re on pace for 2,500 salvations this year. 85% of our attenders are in Small Groups. I pastor some of the most committed believers I know. Most of this I attribute to the power of Church-Wide Campaigns. Here’s what they’ve done for us:

 

  1. Attendance Growth

New Song has grown by 133% in the last ten years. All of that growth has come from Church-Wide Campaigns. Every time we hold a Church-Wide Campaign, attendance surges between 7 and 25%.

 

  1. Small Group Participation

Before we started holding semi-annual Campaigns, about 40% of our attenders were in Small Groups. Today, we’re over 80%, because of the drawing power of a Church-Wide Campaign.

 

  1. Personal Growth

When simple truths that are preached on, talked through in a Small Group, and read about personally, the combination accelerates spiritual growth.

 

Why Campaigns Work:

  1. Relevant topics draw unchurched people

Most Americans aren’t against church; they just don’t have a compelling reason to attend. Newcomers are drawn by topics that matter to them and have the potential to change their lives. When you place a book in your people’s hands, it creates excitement and serves as a great inviting tool to bring people to church.

 

  1. Positive Peer Pressure draws people into Small Groups

Humans are social beings. We want to do what everyone else is doing. Leading up to a Church-Wide Campaign, almost everyone is signing for a Small Group so almost everyone else signs up too.

 

  1. Focus accelerates learning

Focus is a powerful thing! Take two forms of light: while the sun can warm you, a laser can cut through steel. Supernatural transformation happens when the pastor preaches on a topic, people go home and read about it, and then they come together with a Small Group to discuss what they’re learning.

 

When should you hold a Campaign?

We’ve discovered that unchurched people are most open to checking out church right after school starts and right after the New Year. So we hold Campaigns every September and every January. The ideal dates to start an I Love Sundays Campaign are on the third Sunday in September, which is National Back-to-Church Sunday and the fourth Sunday in January, which is the Sunday after a three day holiday.

What’s in The I Love Sundays Campaign Kit?

Last year the 26,000 churches who participated in National Back-to-Church Sunday saw a 21% jump in attendance that day. This year, Outreach, Inc. is combining National Back-to-Church Sunday with the I Love Sundays Campaign to create a highly-attractive five-week Church-Wide Campaign experience.

 

The I Love Sundays Campaign comes with

  • Campaign Planning Guide
  • Resource DVD with sermon bumper videos, countdown clock & promotional video
  • 5 customizable sermons
  • Web and social media graphics
  • Small Group Study Kit with Leader’s Guide & Study Guide
  • An I Love Sundays gift book
  • An I Love Sundays T-shirt
  • An I Love Sundays wristband
  • Sample promo tools

Why Hold a Series about Sundays?

  • Time pressure is one of the highest needs of our society. The solution is a rest on Sundays.
  • Pace of life is straining marriages. A key answer is time together on Sundays.
  • Families are being fragmented. Their glue could be Sundays.
  • God ordained the Sabbath as a day to refresh, refuel, and refocus. Without being preachy, I Love Sundays teaches people how to take back their one day to do that, regardless of their current spiritual condition.

 

To learn more about I Love Sundays and get free videos, visit http://www.pastormentor.com/i-love-sundays/. (Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page.)

 

MULTIPLYING MULTIPLIERS

 

Multiplying

In our pursuit of leading multiplication, churches must dedicate themselves to providing a healthy environment for followers of Christ to become leaders by providing support, encouragement, and accountability.  Discipleship and leadership development require an obedience mechanism, and accountability to support them.  Here is the question; Does your church really want to be a church on mission with Christ?

Dr. David DeVries puts it this way, “Missional living is about being Jesus to everyone everywhere.  Every Christian has been sent on mission by Jesus to be Jesus!  How does a church transform from a church that is not multiplying disciples to one that is?

First, it is about motivation.

Are you satisfied with not making disciples?  When we repent for our lack of burden for the lost there is a sudden burst of energy to share our faith but all too often it is short lived.  It is like exercise when an individual decides to get in shape and begins to do what is necessary by joining a gym or buying a pair of running shoes, but many times it does not last if the individual has no one for support, encouragement, and accountability.  Why?  Because God never meant for us to change alone.  Motivation diminishes when left to itself.

Second, it is about association.

Transformation does not primarily come from classes, seminars, books, or large-group ministry events (which are informational), but through significant relationships that influence us and support us in our effort to be like Christ.  The church says they want to change but unfortunately before long it is back to business as usual.  To develop spiritual behaviors and habits requires doing the right thing enough times that it becomes instinctive and that requires not doing it alone.

Change is a team sport.  The fact that we are made for relationships is so deeply encoded in us that no individual can fulfill the call of God on their life without other people.  People fail to change because they fail to draw on the resources God has provided.  Tony Stoltzfus says, “Personally, I’ve reached the point where I don’t even try to change a habit on my own any more—it simply wastes too much energy.”  The point is that one must become two, two becomes four, and then multiplication can become a reality.

Third, there must be application.  It is not enough to talk about multiplication; it must happen because lost people all around us need Jesus.  The lowest common denominator in the church in the formula for multiplication is the disciple.  Cows make cows, cats make cats, and disciples are to make disciples.  It is not just making disciples but it is making disciples that make disciples that make disciples.  Multiplication cannot be proven until the fourth generation and maybe this is why some churches are in trouble because somewhere along the journey they stopped making the main thing the main thing.

Jim Putman says there are three necessary ingredients for discipleship and multiplication n to take place:

  • An Intentional Leader + A Relational Environment + A Reproducible Process

Discipleship and multiplication is for every child of God not just the pastors, deacons, elders, church staff, or the spiritual elite.  If all of us would become passionate about making disciples then we would multiply, our Sunday School classes would multiply, our Small Groups would multiply, and our churches would multiply.  Where does it begin?  We must start at the lowest common denominator; every disciple.

If God has motivated you to change find someone to walk alongside of you and pray that you will become two and then four and then eight and watch multiplication occur.  Dr. Dave DeVries puts it this way, “When you commit to follow Jesus, you are saying, ‘Count me in!  I am here on earth to partner together with other Christians who are radically devoted to pursuing Christ’s mission of saving the world!’”

Please remember leaders that we will always go farther if we lead by example than if we just point the way!

 

LEADING MULTIPLICATION

Mentor
Leaders look for ways and opportunities to expand their influence.  Effort and focus is given to sharpening skills and increasing capabilities.  That does not mean “climbing the ladder” or continually looking for a bigger church or a larger ministry.  It is not about managing people because most people do not want to be managed, they want to be led.  Leaders manage their lives well which enables them to lead others well.  The lack of leadership development is one of the most limiting factors in churches today.  Everyone is crying out, “We need more leaders!”

Leaders must multiply other leaders.  The path to leadership reproduction can only begin if the leader is credible.  People listen to a leader not because of what they know or what they have done in the past but because of what they are doing now!  There are those who talk about what leaders should do and some have written on what leaders should do but real leaders are doing it!  The “doers” and the “talkers” can sound very similar but the deeper you look the differences become glaringly apparent.  There is a discipline to passing the baton and a leader must first be a “doer” and not just a “talker.”  You cannot lead what you do not live!

Leaders must multiply if they want their churches to reach their full potential.  In the national research project FACT 2008 it is stated that the leadership in the healthiest churches spent the most time recruiting and training other leaders.  Leaders equip, empower, and release others to be and do what God intended.  That means passing on what you know and what you do to someone else.  J. Oswald Sanders said, “Fatigue is a price of leadership and mediocrity is the result of never getting tired.”  Leaders realize that they are never wasting their time by investing their energies into leadership development.

There are three necessary ingredients to multiplying leaders:

The first is intentionality!

Are you regularly, intentionally, and systematically investing into the lives of the next generation of leaders?  There is a discipline to passing the baton and leaders have decided that this process is worth every effort they can make.  The best metric of a church’s health is whether the congregation is learning to reproduce themselves and they must be lead in this endeavor.  How much time are you spending intentionally pouring into other potential leaders?  A mentor is someone who has been where you want to go and is willing to help you get there!

The second necessary ingredient is faith!

True leadership is about building up and equipping more leaders not being satisfied with a few more followers.  As the leader gives the follower more responsibility (Luke 16:10) he then trusts God to complete the work in the apprentice the same way He did in them.  No one is ever 100% ready but you must let them go!  Jesus gave the disciples responsibilities and then walked with them as they carried them out.  Sure they were slow to pick it up at first but soon He turned everything over to their leadership.  In Leadership Coaching Tony Stoltzfus says, “Giving responsibility to others instead of taking responsibility for them is a key to developing leaders.”

The third ingredient is relationships!

The transformation from a follower to a leader usually does not come through classes, seminars, or books but through significant relationships such as Jesus and the disciples, Barnabas and Saul, and Paul and Timothy.  It is not fair nor is it right to give someone responsibility and not give them the authority to oversee what they are responsible for.  If they are responsible for something then they should have the authority to make decisions in that area.  Responsibility and authority go hand in hand and if we have been intentional in their development we will have to trust them and release them to serve or they will forever remain as followers!

Leadership reproduction is a great metric to determine the health of your church.  No pastor is gifted or skilled enough to reach their city or community for Christ alone.  His calling is to mobilize the entire congregation to engage people in their spheres of influence.  The mission of the church is to equip, empower, and release the body of Christ to function to its fullest capacity.  The key is not the size of your church but your readiness to invest in leadership multiplication.  Every movement starts with one!

MAKING DISCIPLES IS THE PRIORITY

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While worshipping in a church in the southern part of Thailand the pastor was preaching on the Fruit of the Spirit. Then as he challenged them he gave them a test where he asked them to score themselves on a scale of 1-10 in four different areas. He said that no one is a 40 because all of us are still a work in progress (so true). Then he teased them that at best some of them were only a 20. They laughed but it caused me to wonder how we would score on an evangelism test. The four questions could be:

  1. Am I completely confident in being able to show someone from the scriptures how to repent of their sins and ask Christ to be Lord of their life? Remedy: Get trained in how to share the gospel!
  2. Am I burdened to share my faith with people in my circles of influence and am I burdened enough to do something about it, not just talk about it? Remedy: Fall on your face before God and beg Him for this!
  3. Do I approach every day as an opportunity to share the love of Chirst with others around me both in demonstration and verbally?  Remedy: Realize you are Christ’s ambassador wherever you are and wherever you go!
  4. Have I shared my faith with someone in the last week? Remedy: Commit to share your faith with someone in the next week and do it!

Ok, how did you do?  Remember, no one gets a 40 but many, if we are totally honest, struggle to score a 20! While most churches would say that their primary reason for existence is evangelism/discipleship, they would readily admit that the areas they are most challenged in is evangelism/discipleship!

We know that only 15% of all churches in America are growing and only 1% are growing through new converts. With that truth staring us in the face how do we reconcile that with the Great Commission which says, “Go and MAKE disciples!” It does not say make them better disciples (which does happen and is important) but it says make them; from scratch.

The pastor in Thailand shared with us that 80% of the people in the congregation that day were new converts in the last year. It always causes me to rejoice when I visit a church plant and I am told that 80% or more are new converts. We must stop shuffling the Christian deck and once again commit to “making” disciples.

George Barna has noted, “Evangelism is not a priority in most churches, so the fact that most churches do not verbally share the gospel in a given year is not deemed problematic. Only one out of eight churches bother to evaluate how many of their congregants are sharing their faith in Christ with non-believers.”

This, in the face of the fact that conversion growth is the only kind of church growth that can be supported as the biblical kind of growth. While a church is thankful for biological growth and transfer growth they do not produce Kingdom growth and the kingdom of darkness is not pushed back.

Evangelism occurs more often in relationships than with complete strangers. 67% of the leaders (growing churches through conversions) surveyed attributed personal relationships as the primary means by which their churches were reaching people with the gospel.

Here are some steps to think through:

  1. What if the pastor, staff, and leaders of the church gave 10% of their time (or day a week) to developing relationships with lost people and training other believers to build intentional relationships?
  2. Where could you go and build relationships with people who are far from God? Get out in the fields and hang out with lost people wherever that might be in your context!
  3. What if you challenged 10% of your people to accept the challenge with you? Timothy was admonished by Paul to do the work of an evangelist! We must figure out a way to mobilize our people to live missionally and incarnationally. The best way is to lead is by example!
  4. How did Jesus make disciples? He cared about lost people and we must care about what He cares about. Leaders must model what they want their people to do! Money, methods, nor facilities are our limiting factors; leadership is!

You cannot reproduce what you are not doing! Someone recently said, “Our churches are full of people who say they love God but do not love what God loves!” God loves the world and Jesus said He came to seek and to save that which is lost!

  • Are we looking for the lost daily?
  • Are we conscious of those around us who need to see a demonstration of the love of God?
  • Are we listening to their stories and showing them they are valued by us and by God?
  • Are we sharing our story so that we can share His story?

Let me make this very clear: Reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ is not only the responsibility of the leaders of the church. It is every believers’ responsibility to share the gosple of Jesus Christ!

It is interesting that one statistic that has remained almost unchanged over the last 30 years is this: 85-88% of people who are reached with the gospel are reached because of a friend or a family member. It really is about relationships and our circle of influence.

What are you going to do about it?