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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!