Nine ‘take-aways’ from Viral Churches
I’ve been reading Viral Churches: helping church planters become movement makers as we look to plant 20 churches in Birmingham by the year 2020. Why should Birmingham churches make this an urgent priority? Let’s start with nine reasons in this post from Stetzer and Bird.
1. What this country needs is for each person to have an opportunity to hear the gospel in a way that they can understand and respond to.
2. Church planting must be our default mode for evangelism
‘The story of the book of Acts is that ‘the early church implemented the Great Commission primarily by planting churches’.
‘The reason why church planting is the new evangelism is the disproportionately high number of spiritual conversions experienced in new churches.’
3. No single congregation or denomination can reach a million people in our city of Birmingham.
4. It will take the planting of many new churches working alongside existing churches to reach every person in the city.
‘Among churches of all sizes, growing churches are rare. In fact, they only make up about 20 percent of our churches today. The other 80 percent have reached a plateau or are declining. Perhaps a change in mission – like the thrust to plant new churches – can revitalize the spirit of many existing churches.’
5. It will be new churches who will be best equipped to reach new generations and new groups of people
‘Church multiplication must be lauded as a worthy and achievable goal by those not in the middle of it. Instead of seeing church multiplication movement leaders as a vermin to eradicate, generous help and support should go to them as they plow new ground for new orchards. We need denominational leaders on local and national levels to applaoud the work of leaders who seek to multiply churches. Plus they need to do it loudly and publicly.’
6. Planting churches must be the vision of the local church. We should not rely on denominations to drive that vision.
‘Denominations exist to aid the church. When the attitude is reversed, then uncompromising preservation becomes the goal rather than exponential growth.’
‘”The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches” who in turn reproduce themselves.’
‘Why don’t more churches multiply? The quick answers are: their leaders have not thought of it, they don’t know how, and it seems too difficult.’
8.A unified movement of church planting churches is the best way to reach a city
‘Amazing things cna happen when God’s people find appropriate common ground and work together toward a dream that no one could accomplish alone.’
‘We must be intentional about initiating reliationships and even parternships with tribes other than our own.’
‘If you begin to view cooperation as a joyful opportunity to cause someone else to succeed, then giving away all you have for the sake of a new or established network is worth the effort. Church multiplication movements will occur only so far as leaders are ready to cooperate for a cause that is far greater than themselves.’
‘Leadership development is always worth your time.’
“We’re not so much about multiplying campuses as about multiplying leaders. When you multiply leaders, you need more places for them to lead, and therefore more campuses.” – Dave Browning, Christ the King Community Church, Mt. Vernon, Washington.
In the next post we’ll look a little bit more at strategy in achieving this.
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