The Multiplying Church 9: Processors

I’m gonna do a few series kind of interacting with and starting discussions about themes in some books on church planting. This first series comes out of the The Multiplying Church.

Bob Roberts doesn’t just write books about church planting, his church actually plants churches. They have multiple church planting interns each year. Bob describes the seven “processors” they have their interns work through before going off to plant.

  1. Call: You better feel called! If not, you’ll be tempted to quit when the going gets tough
  2. Values: What are the values you practice without thinking? Know your values, you can’t adopt someone else’s!
  3. Purpose: What is your purpose? What is the purpose of the church you’re starting?
  4. Vision: Must start with you, then spread. (George Barna: “Vision has no force, power or impact unless it spreads.”)
  5. Strategy: Whom are you going to reach and how will you reach them? What will you do with them once you reach them?
  6. Leadership: Bob writes:“In a new church, start with turning outsiders into insiders. Do this as quickly as possible as people come on board. They have to feel as though they are part of something larger than the Sunday event. The next step is to turn converts into disciples, through what I’ve described as creating a culture for transformation that changes people’s behavior, not merely passes along information. The final step is turning disciples into ministers. This is where you practice mobilization through spiritual gifts. Identify the reliable men and women in your church and their giftings. Entrust responsibilities to them and educate them through mentoring so that they can emulate what they have seen you do.”
  7. Evaluation: How will your church evaluate how you’re doing?

Here are some landmines I see with a lot of church plants. (1) Guys who are planting because they want to be the leader and do their own thing rather than feeling called. If that’s you, you’ll quit. (2) Guys who steal someone else’s values because their church is successful, “so maybe we can capture some of their mojo!” (3) Guys whose purpose is to start a “cool church” rather than win lost people to Christ and glorify God. (4) Guys who have a vision but don’t share it concisely, passionately, and consistently. (5) Guys who have no strategy. They have a vision, maybe they pray, and they just hope/assume it’s gonna happen. (6) Guys who do it all rather than developing layers of leadership in the church. (7) Guys who don’t evaluate how they’re doing. Mayybe the worst thing that can happen is early success because it can lull us, if we don’t do evaluation, into complacency.

What do you think? What are the necessary processors? What are the landmines that can kill us along the path?

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