Church Planting Movements in North America
Yes, there are highly-reproductive church-planting efforts under way in North America. One such effort is trying to track its progress at http://www.cmaresources.org/
Scores of “mega churches” have found that they can sustain growth in quantity and quality only by continually multiplying cells or home groups that function as little churches within a big “cluster” church. Willow Creek and Saddleback have both gone that way.
In order for classical congregations to become reproductive, its leaders must take several well-planned steps. These steps may include some of the following:
MOVE AWAY FROM
- Making cleric-dominated “services” the centre of church life.
- Limiting teaching to theological lectures and sermons (monologue).
- Herding believers into big-group events under strict control.
- Scolding believers for their lack of zeal or generosity.
- Rationalistic interpretation of New Testament mysteries.
- Evangelism by foray and retreat (if any at all).
- State-mandated power structures (constitution and officers).
- Defining “church” as some kind of big institution in an auditorium.
- Creating opportunities for believers to gather face to face.
- Letting all prophesy and exercise their God-given gifts one with another.
- Continually coaching group shepherds who become able to do the same.
- Reminding believers of Jesus’ promises and commandments.
- Keeping the Lord’s Supper the centre of worship with all its mystery.
- Expecting most conversions to come through small groups.
- Empowering shepherds to obey all of Jesus’ commandments.
- Defining “church” as Jesus in the midst any gathering of any size.