Ephesians 4 says that the church body will grow when each part of the body functions properly.
Attractional church structures aren’t done for, but they are not complete in and of themselves. 1,200 mega churches have started in America in the last 10 years, yet we’ve seen total church attendance decline over this time period.
There’s a growing sense of restlessness in churches today. The 18-30 year old generation is not content attending; they thrive off challenge, serving, and using their gifts. People are starting to wonder out loud, “When do I get to fight? When do I get to play a meaningful part?”
At Austin Stone, Carter faced the budget, staffing, and facility question of what it would take to reach another 3,000 people. He then flipped the question to what it would take to send 3,000 people out to reach the local community. Which would have the most impact? Could you do both?
We focus too much on starting churches. There are political, educational, recreational, arts and other areas to every city. Instead of starting a church as its own area for society, involve the people of God in gospel releasing activity in all the areas of society that already exist.
Church metrics traditionally follow attendance, dollars, connections, etc… We need to change the score card to city health – crime rates going down, graduation going up, divorce goes down, economic opportunities go up. Continue reading
You live a funnel. There are a handful of opportunities in life, most of which are distractions. You have to focus your opportunities. Or, another way to think about it is as a spiral towards the center of God’s plan for your life.
Four vectors keep spinning you in succession toward the center of your spiral. Continue reading
Hung out with Stadia this afternoon; another excellent planting network. Stadia’s planter care and project management support is what impresses me most about them. They really have what it takes to resource and support a church plant through its fragile infancy and beyond.
Prospective planters and networks should open a dialog with Stadia off their prospective partner link.
Every church planter will find it helpful to partner with a planting network. It’s like finding someone to travel with while taking the road less traveled.
One such network is the New Thing Network, whom I spent some time with this morning at their pre-conference gathering.
You get something different with each network. Dave Dummit summarized what he’s gotten from New Thing as 1) accountability to keep planting, 2) best practices knowledge, and 3) friendships. From my exposure and with New Thing thus far, I’d say this is an accurate description. I’d also add to it a fourth specialization in multi-site churches.
This afternoon, I’m spending time with Stadia, another excellent planting network, with a different set of strengths to offer.
Brooklife Church, where I serve as a pastor, is in the thick of pursuing multiplication of groups. I thought I’d give a little inside look at the Q&A we’ve gone through…
- Why are we making a big deal about multiplication?
- To live out Brooklife’s value statement, to “multiply at every level.”
- To follow Biblical Direction. The early Church, as well as Israel, we corrected by God for collecting and clustering their blessings, rather than going and multiplying it for others.
- We are a growing church, even without a new facility. If our Church is going to be more than a Sunday morning thing, we need more groups to do life in. Our average group size is already 13. Quite simply, we need more room for more people.
- Are we too concerned about numbers, just “trying to fill an aggressive quota” so to speak? If a number represents a real live person, I’m going to care about them with all heart, soul, and strength. So yes, I’m going to unashamedly be obsessive over taking care of the new people God brings to our church.
- Will you make my group multiply? Continue reading
Multiplying small groups is great in theory, but often times met with trepidation in practice. The idea of more groups for more people is compelling, but many equate multiplying new groups with splitting up old ones.
For Brooklife Church, where I’m a pastor, we are entering a transitional season where multiplying groups and leaders is more important than ever. Wanting to get some fears and road blocks out on the table for discussion, regardless of what church your from; I’d like to gather some comments to complete the following statement:
“I’d like to multiply my group, but…”