Friday links: Not church growth, but church multiplication

March 13, 2009



Twitter updates can be about anything you can imagine, but one of the most common uses is sharing links to interesting web content. Many blogs have regular “Friday links” posts, so today I share some web pages I found through my involvement on Twitter related to multiplying churches (as opposed to growing them).

By focusing on numerical growth, are churches a) doing the one job they’re not supposed to do, and b) producing the wrong results? What Is the Goal of Church Promotion?

What happens when you interview a leader of a megachurch and a leader of organically multiplying micro-churches — in the same interview? You get a study in contrasts.

You may know CityTeam as a charity serving the poor and homeless. But did you know that they are missionaries with an underlying focus on establishing church planting movements (CPMs)? And that one of their initiatives is reaching the online generation? Paul Watson (@OnlineDisciples) says he prefers the term “gospel planting” over “church planting” because it “focuses on what we do rather than what God does.” (I’ll let that one soak in.)

Paul in turn pointed me to a leader of Gospel Planting Movements, David Watson (@DavidLWatson).

Altering a phrase you may have seen, “Let us tweet one another toward love and good deeds.”



Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

6 responses to Friday links: Not church growth, but church multiplication

  1. Thanks for the ping back.
    Blessings!
    David Watson
    from Lebanon

  2. You bet, David. I post it hoping others will eventually discover the link.

  3. Hi Jon,
    Been meaning to comment for a while now re: mega-church vs micro-church article. Really enjoyed reading it, but a question keeps gnawing at me. Can you plant a micro church and still have an effective children’s ministry? I’d love to hear how an church plant addresses this need, if at all.

  4. Joe, it depends what you mean by “an effective children’s ministry.” If you want Sunday morning programs, mega-churches are designed to excel in those. A micro-church need not look anything like a church plant as we’re used to thinking of church plants. You’ve experienced small groups for many years. Ever see a small group minister effectively to children? I’m guessing you have.
    So part of the answer is probably in not segregating so much, but including children in the life of the group. For another part of the answer, I would look to so-called “para-church” ministries like the stuff Sparky does. Why is that considered “not a church”?
    For more ways to shake up your brain, I recommend the book Postmodern Children’s Ministry.

  5. By effective I simply mean a ministry that communicates the wonder and love of Jesus to kids. I have a longer mission statement, but that’s the bottom line.
    And for all i really dig about our church, I don’t think I’ve seen a small group successfully minister to the kids. Or any church, really(in a small group setting). Cindy and I tried for a while with mixed results. The hope still burns though.
    Appreciate the book recommendation. Brain shaking’s cool!

  6. Joe, don’t give up the dream. Since you have yet to see what desire, it won’t happen by doing things the way you’ve seen them done. It will be something entirely different — and that requires vision, creativity, risk, failure, the guiding of the Holy Spirit, and brain shaking. So I hope that book will help.