I had a great opportunity to sit in on a couple of sessions lead by Neil Cole. Neil is the founding pastor of Awakening Chapels that started in So. Cal. and have since reproduced all over. He is also one of the founders of Church Multiplication Associates, an organic church planting equipping ministry. He is also an author of several books, the latest of which I am reading right now and will be talking some about here. Just a genuine guy with a love for people. The following notes are from the second session that I attended that were lead by Neil.
Church Multiplication is not:
- Church planting WITHOUT multi-generational reproduction
- Gathering and assimilating Christians from other churches and/or denominations
- Big revival meetings and evangelistic crusades.
- A centralized leadership development institution that sends off many church planters. (That is seminary, church planting organizations, etc.)
In order for there to be a church multiplication movement there must be the two following elements:
- The churches must be self supporting, no life support from the organization.
- The churches must also be self propagating. Multi generational!
The DNA of the church
- Divine Truth
- Nurturing Relationships (The One Anothers of the Gospels)
- Apostolic Mission — Apostles means sent ones. Implies GOING
Order in the midst of chaos
- We have confused order with control.
- We long for movements of the Holy Spirit but our “control issues” hinder the very movements we long for.
- Can we have unlimited potential for expansion?
In order for there to be a Church Multiplication movement, we must have Reproducible Systems
- Can it be received personally?
- Can it be repeated easily?
- Can it be reproduced strategically? Transfers easily to other cultures and languages.
Gravity of Social Groupings — There is a natural span of relational care
- Groups of 2-3 These are friends, accountability partners. This can also be viewed as the “Mentor”
- Groups of 12-15 This is the range for a simple from of church, or house church. This can also be viewed as the “Discipler”
- Groups of 70-75 This is a regional leadership network. This can also be viewed as the “Facilitator” (Neil is coming from the perspective of an Organic Church guy, where these 75 people would be leaders of their own house/simple churches)
- Groups of 120-150 This is the network of churches. This can also be viewed as the “Shepherd”
- Groups beyond this size Neil referred to as the ‘multitude’. At this level the ‘pastor’ is also known as the visionary teacher.
Leadership is not a position or title, leadership is influence.
Albert Einstein quote, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
The key to profound leadership is transformation
- Leadership recruitment is the wrong place to start. Making disciples is the place to begin.
- Recruitment can never reproduce exponential results.
- Stop consuming and start farming.
- Day of ordained is over, welcome to the day of the ordinary.
Distributed authority empowers each person to have = access to God and His Church.
Some of this seems a bit mumbo jumboish to even me. I took the notes, I was there. But my head was swimming in a sea of ideas that day. Nearly everything that Neil talked about resonated deeply inside of me. I’m enjoying reading the book that I got of his, I’m going to be reading some more. I’m also going to be implementing a discipleship process in my ministry that he is using. I’ll explain that in another post.
Thanks, Neil, for reminding us that making disciples is our primary task. Seeking and saving the lost. Search and Rescue.