The more I study the multiplication movement, the more I realize that for it to be successful, several sacred cows will have to be slaughtered. These sacred cows will be much harder for mainline churches to barbeque than for independents. Let me share the biggest ones.
Most of the training of church planters is being done in local church residency programs. Seminary takes time and money, and both resources are something would-be planters don’t have enough of. There are already dozens of churches that have in-house residency programs for church planters. Most residency programs are 9-12 months and are full-time. Think of the time and money saved using this method, not to mention the on-the-job mentoring.
As long as clergy are looked up to as special people with special gifts, there will never be enough leaders to plant enough churches, nor will there be enough money. It’s time we never hear again, “I’m just a lay person.” Most of the church planters of the future will grow up in a church and will be tapped for planting because of their faithful work as a member of the church.
Passion for a large church.
The larger a church becomes, the harder it becomes for it to plant multiple churches due to the costs of keeping the institution going. Obviously, churches have to be large enough to afford to plant, but we are seeing churches of under 300 planting multiple churches, so size is not going to be the issue as we move forward.
Many of the church planting machines we’ve seen rent their facilities so that they can spend most of their money on planting churches. Our research shows that in the past the average church plant rents for eight years. We believe this number will grow into double digits for churches that live and breathe planting churches.
Thinking of ministry as a career.
In many established denominations the goal of many clergy is to keep their nose clean and move up the corporate ladder. This minimizes the need for the pastor to grow a church. The new path for the future is not career, but calling. Instead of a career, this new church planter is on a quest that nothing can stop, even if it means they are out of a job.
Planting churches is risky and not for the faint of heart. Church planting is the last place for pastors who want job security.
Democratic and consensus leadership.
Movements don’t have any need for consensus building or democracy. It is either the leader’s way or the highway. I know this sounds bad, but it is the way of every movement. The moment a leader feels the need for consensus building is the moment the movement loses all momentum.
Question: What else do you think has to go for a multiplication movement to be possible? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.