In my previous post, I unpacked the Send Network’s value of brotherhood. This value is important and paired with multiplication and restoration, the values are changing the culture of church planting.
Being part of a family is a good thing. Creating a brotherhood that stands shoulder to shoulder is helpful, but the connection needs to be going someplace to have real power. When I think movement, I see multiplication happening. When we talk about multiplication at the Send Network, we mean that churches have a process to discover, develop, and deploy church planting teams from the inside.
Multiplication: Discover, Develop and Deploy Church Planting Teams from Within
The number one challenge to planting new churches today is having called and competent leaders. Imagine what it might look like if we had a multiplying church in every community in North America, churches that had an intentional process to discover potential leaders for service in the church and to send out as missionaries. What does that look like in your context? Who on your team is focused on identifying the next set of leaders? What kind of processes do you have in place to develop them once they have been discovered?
This is a huge issue for the church today. We might be able to intuitively find people, but too often, the development process is simply “go get them.” The good news is that there are churches and church plants out there modeling it well. Rick Duncan, founding pastor and now planter trainer with the Send Network, has partnered with current lead pastor Chad Allen at Cuyahoga Valley Church to create a process in their context where they are discovering, developing, and deploying church planters and church planting couples into the mission field. To find out more how Rick and the team at the church, email Rick at email@example.com. Another great resource is the Multiplication Pipeline that we have developed.
Let’s assume you have identified some people and have raised them up. Now, what are you going to do with them? How are you going to release or deploy them to do ministry? This step is probably one of the most difficult and most frightening steps for both the church and the family being sent, but multiplication doesn’t happen unless both groups move past the fear and trust the Father. It’s like that first time you hand the keys over to your teenager and you are not in the car or when you pull away from college campus for the first time and leave that first child there alone. This is a moment where you really have to trust the Father. Rest in his plan and know he will provide.
Restoration: Pursuing and Recovering God’s Design
Brotherhood and multiplication have helped change the culture of church planting, but to what end? At the end of the day, it must lead to the hope of the gospel being shared in the community. This is where the last value, restoration, ties everything together.
We define restoration as pursuing and recovering God’s design. Sin has affected every aspect of our world: spiritual, emotional, social and economic. When we plant churches, they are for the glory of God and the good of people. My friend Keynon Akers talks about planting churches around the "neighborly love principle." Keynon is leading us to bring this neighborly love focus to the forefront of the Send Network as he leads out on a national level and at his local church, Blueprint, in downtown Atlanta.
Blueprint has an active presence in their neighborhood, working with the schools, providing counseling for the community, and, most recently, working with a job training organization to help equip the unemployed with new skills. This focus on restoration has impacted their church and community. But what I want you to see in Blueprint is that while they are about restoration, they have also created a culture where all of the Send Network values are being lived out. You can connect with Keynon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you reflect on each of these values, which is a strength for your church? Which is an area that needs growth? What’s one thing you could do to grow? How could you lead your church to embrace these values and be a part of the change that is happening in North America through the Send Network?
How we think about church planting today has come a long way. Embracing these values can change the culture of how you church thinks and engages in church planting. If you or your church has an interest in church planting, click here to connect with the Send Network and to learn more about how you can be a part.