Wow, what a weekend we had with @MultiSiteGuy, Pastor Jim Tomberlin, two weeks ago! Our Vista Leadership Community was privileged to spend a few hours with one of the leading consultants in America in the MultiSite movement.
One of the most rewarding and confirming things about that visit was finding out that we are smack-dab in the middle of a relatively young, but significant movement of God, now referred to as the “MultiSite church” movement. Little did I know that the reality God brought about with Vista was also going on in the hearts of pastors and churches across the country at the same time! Within the past 15 years or so, over 8,000 MultiSite churches have emerged, gathering so many people that if it were a denomination it’d the fourth largest. That’s quite a movement in such a relatively short time! The best characteristic is that new church gatherings are the single most effective way to reach un-churched and de-churched people!
Another encouraging thing that Jim assured us of is that we are right on track. That all of our work and effort and faith has brought us to a place ahead of many of our peers at least with respect to our general church health and with respect to our capability to continue planting new sites.
It makes little sense to plant new sites for the sake of planting new sites; we plant new sites because what we are doing as a church is valuable to the Kingdom. That as a church we are seeing ones come to Christ and we want more of that to happen — it’s the church mandate from Jesus. We must BE what the church is called to be in order to keep DOing what the church is called to do…BB4DO!
In the last blog I mentioned two things: two M’s of a healthy church. The first is to be missional, which we covered in the last post. Let me take a crack at the second M, “multiplying” this time.
Think of a circle in which the edge is mission and the center is multiplication. One without the other is incomplete. A church cannot simply be pressing out on mission, it must be strengthening within through multiplication (there are certainly other things in addition). Like a tree with an expansive top and a skinny trunk is the church with a broad mission and no multiplication. Watch out for the wind.
We must be continuously growing at our core in every area and on many levels. We must be including others and new people in everything that we do, from setting up a sign, to handing out a bulletin, to strumming a guitar, to leading a group, to managing a ministry, to preaching a message. Everything. If you’re carrying too great a burden, then someone is not carrying enough. If God is strengthening you and bringing the joy of serving to you, but you are not sharing your load, then someone is not being strengthened and joyed. We share the burden to share the joy of serving!
But we must be growing in character as well as competence. Trying to get a job done with others almost always leads to frustration and difficulty, but it can also lead to forgiveness and character development. We all have shortcomings and immaturities to navigate, we know that and are not surprised…we expect it and lean into it together. It is here that Jesus’ teachings — many from the Mount (Mt 5–7) — find meaning. As we practice truthfulness, and forgiveness, and grace, and faith we multiply in heart.
We must be urgent and consistent about multiplying in depth as well as breadth, in attitude as well as action, in faith as well as work, in maturity as well as mechanics.
Our multiplication in these ways is the foundation for the success of the mission. You can’t have just one M…got have at least two: M&M (is it snack time yet?) 🙂 Let’s be a healthy church: keep multiplying and keep living out missional!