I think that God longs for us to make disciples that make disciples and to plant churches that plant churches. In order for churches to plant churches, they must have a certain reproducability feasabilty to them. Which is a problem, because most do not.
Remember this: We reproduce WHAT we ARE! When white human beings reproduce, they make white human babies. When Chihuahuas reproduce, they make Chihuahuas. When cows reproduce they make cows. We can only naturally give birth to what we are.
How do you reprocuce the following?
- A million dollar building or a rented Middle School.
- A slick sounding name.
- 501c3 status.
- A Constitution and Bylaws.
- A logo and letterhead.
- Bank accounts.
- Treasurer & a Secretary.
- A Pastor (and maybe several) who makes a full time salary.
- A Mission and Vision Statement.
- A Worship Team.
- A Projector.
- A sound system and sound board.
- A board or group of Elders.
- And a whole lot more....
This presents a major tension. Since we can only reproduce what we are, then churches that ARE the above can only reproduce the above. But, who can afford this? How many churches can manage to come up with all of this? And why would they? Most of them are not truly happy with what they have....which is why (if they were honest) they would never consider reproducing it, anyway. So they don't.
Bottom line is that I belive that our disciple making and church planting must be reproducable...so it can keep spreading....organically....because the harvest is too great for things to stall.
What would happen if this was all you needed to reproduce church?
- A small group of 5-15 people who want to follow after Jesus.
- A living room, a bedroom, a boardroom, a soccer feild or a starbucks (anywhere that a small group of folks can meet for no cost).
- A few Bibles or Mobile phones with Bibles on them.
- Open and hungry hearts.
- Willingness to love the lost.
- Trust for the people you are launching out and some courage to overcome fear of something new.
- Agreement to reproduce again soon.
I am not saying that one approach is better than the other. I AM saying that one is more reprocable than the other.
And remember-- we reproduce what we are. I want to see churches make babies! But they are largely infertile. I think that they need some medicine....maybe the Bible offers some prescriptions?