For our April 6, 2014 Sunday Evening services we will have Dr. Ed Stetzer in town to preach on Church Multiplication. Stetzer believes that denominations and networks that fail to multiply churches “…have lost a big part of their purpose.” Multiplication is not optional, rather it is central to the mission of God’s church.
Dr. Stetzer often sees denominations and networks falling into similar pitfalls when it comes to multiplication. Here’s a list of his top six steps towards multiplication to counter the most common pitfalls:
1. Recognize that Multiplication is Part of Health.
The reality is that healthy living things multiply for the survival of their species. The lack of multiplication is an indicator of an unhealthy organism. If your denomination or network is healthy, it will have a strong emphasis on multiplication at every level.
2. Have Unity Around the Essentials.
Your denomination or network must have a well-defined plan for multiplication that includes (with explicit clarity) the theological, missiological, and ecclesiological expectations for churches within your ranks.
3. Define Cooperation Clearly.
Your denomination or network must clearly define cooperation. This step is closely related to the second. Cooperation occurs around a common set of beliefs– a common theological confession that leads to missiological cooperation.
4. Follow and Build the Right Leaders.
Church partnerships must follow good leaders and build leaders for the future. Don’t let your leadership choices be accidental; cultivate the kind of leaders that will continue to develop your denominational identity and lead a multiplication movement.
5. Celebrate Multiplication.
We celebrate the things that are important to us– and people get that. So, healthy denominations celebrate multiplication. I have said it before, but it bears saying again: What you celebrate, you become.
6. Grieve the Fact that the World is Filled with Lost People.
Finally, grieve lostness. It is that simple. Hurt for those who have not been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the Son God loves (Col 1:13)
Dr. Stetzer has been a formative mentor in my life and a dear friend to Sojourn Community Church. Please join us on this Sunday evening, April 6 at 5pm and 7pm at our Midtown campus to hear more form Dr. Stetzer himself on the importance of Church Multiplication. Sojourn’s primacy agency of multiplying through church planting is through the Sojourn Network. If you are going to next week’s T4G conference, be sure to stop be their booth.
(The above is an adaptation of “Multiplying in Partnership: thoughts on the Work of Denominations and Networks” from “The Exchange Blog” run by Ed Stetzer on Christianity Today’s website).