I just got off the phone from a delightful conversation with Ralph Moore, pastor of Hope Chapel in Honolulu. Ralph is a 70-year-old, humble hippie who is planting the third Hope Chapel and is responsible directly or indirectly for more than 1,000 church plants. I was struck by his humble, straightforward way of sharing both himself and what he has learned. So here is what I learned from this great man.

  • The key to their multiplication was to have a simple, decentralized plan and a red-hot passion for the Great Commission. They just let it happen, and they are passionate about church multiplication. Moore left the Foursquare Church because they wanted too much control over how things were done.
  • They take 5-7 years before they send someone out to plant a church. If a person starts three small groups (they call them mini-churches) they are going to look at them as a potential church planter. These small groups reflect each week on the sermon around some soul-searching questions, much like those of Wesley’s class meetings. They always ask, “What did the Holy Spirit say to you this week?”
  • Everything centers around these “mini-churches” and their ability to foster discipleship and raise up planters. All of their direct plants come out of their church with people who have had no formal theological training.
  • When asked about why multiplication is happening all over the world except the U.S. he quickly answered ”The U.S. puts too much emphasis on megachurches.” This takes time away from discipling. It costs a lot of money to be mega.

Question: What are some ways you’ve witnessed that are effective in focusing churches on multiplications? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.