Can We Take Church Multiplication Too Far?

For years, the concept of “church multiplication” was denounced as rash and risky, apt to dilute the truth as churches multiplied. Now that multiplication has become respectable, is there a danger of it becoming a superficial fad?

We POY! do not consider “church multiplication” as our motivating strategy, but the result of prayerfully obeying Jesus and His apostles, which

can never be carried too far. The Bible does not use the term “multiplication”, but reveals that wherever the apostles and their apprentices made disciples as Jesus, churches reproduced. History shows the same.

POY! considers healthy multiplying to be part of four synergistic efforts:

Liberate —-> Synergize —-> Obey —-> Multiply

  1. Liberate. Many churches, especially in the West, cannot envision multiplying until freed from heavy, expensive trappings that cancel normal multiplication. Liberators help them to follow New Testament patterns prayerfully and carefully.
  2. Synergize. Multiplication is no isolated program; workers integrate it thoroughly with all ministries that the New Testament requires, so that diverse spiritual gifts operate in harmony.
  3. Obey. Motivation to multiply comes from a passionate love for Christ born of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” Love drives multiplication.
  4. Multiply. Jesus compared multiplication in His Kingdom to that of grain. Everything we eat, and the trees and flowers all around us are the fruit of the miracle of reproduction. Creation shouts daily, “This is how our heavenly Father works.” Believers multiply by discipling friends; churches multiply by planting daughter churches.

Some North American Evangelicals during the last century abused the research-based “church growth” insights that Donald MacGavran published, creating consulting businesses, claiming to be church growth “apostles,” selling books and courses on how to grow bigger, richer, and more glamorous churches. Now some have begun to show their fascination with church multiplication by…

  • Appointing inexperienced youth as Church Multipliers.
  • Making multiplication a stated objective in publicity materials, without practicing it.
  • Holding workshops dealing with multiplication theory, while neglecting its practice.
  • Writing multiplication curricula that ignore proven, apostolic principles.
  • Raising money to control the multiplication that others bring about.
  • Calling a congregation’s small groups “multiplication”.

Satan uses such phony multiplication to replace the real thing. Keep your antenna up!

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