Church Multiplication

Planning for Church Multiplication


“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. A wise man has great power and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers,” Proverbs 24:3-6.

Like the house described in this passage, building a successful church multiplication movement is no small feat – it requires all of those same qualities: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, guidance, and many advisers. Much planning is required.

Deep within many leaders, planning is viewed with suspicion, or even considered unspiritual. God’s plans are higher than ours – he is in control and is powerful enough to accomplish his will. He is the one who brings renewal and revival – not us. Yet the question remains: will we cooperate with what God is doing? Are we positioned to take full advantage of the opportunities he provides?

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, is a prime example of someone who planned for the future in order to get the most out of what God was doing. He thought ahead and organised to make sure that multiplication was happening at every level. He established circuits at the regional level. These circuits were made up of multiplying small groups called societies that provided pastoral care from trained laypeople for basic Christian community. After societies, Wesley felt the need to lower the bar even further. He founded an even smaller multiplying unit called class meetings– something we might call accountability and discipleship groups. Wesley viewed these class meetings as a means of discipleship. In spite of his legendary public preaching itinerary, he believed that it was in these groups that salvation was actually applied to the souls of the converts. In fact, his circuit preachers were not to preach in a place if class meetings were not being formed. He told them, “Preach in as many places as you can. Start as many classes as you can. Do not preach without starting new classes.” Preaching was merely a preamble, a means to awaken them to their need for Christ. It was within the relationship of a class meeting that people actually encountered Christ and began their relationship with him.

Any good planning strategy begins with an evaluation of the present state of affairs and moves to the out working of the vision. This will mean:

  • Reviewing the Shared Vision of the movement
  • Constantly evaluating where you are in the process
  • Discovering which church multiplication dynamics you are strongly implementing
  • Defining which church multiplication dynamics you still need to work on
  • Considering priorities as you develop the overall process
  • Evaluating the limiting factors in the process
  • Ensuring that all you plan is tied back to the vision and is covered in prayer

For further insights into these elements, check out the other articles in this section of the Blog.

Colin Noyes is the Director of ResourceZone International. He has thirty years of ministry experience as a pastor, college lecturer and consultant/coach to consultants, denominational leaders and local church pastors.

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