And I’m really wrestling with getting this into words. And while I’m wrestling with getting this into words, my wife is working like crazy packing up our house…(I’m trying not to feel too guilty, but it isn’t working well).
So I want to throw out one idea and I’d love to hear from you as to why you think it is difficult for churches to reproduce what they are doing on a regular basis. (or if you totally disagree with my premise, let me know that.)
Again, using the church I started as an example…with this plant in Dublin upcoming, we will have planted 2 churches in 13 years. Now, I used the words “regular basis” because they are intentionally vague…however, I’m pretty sure that 1 every 6.5 years does not qualify as regular.
For me, the biggest hinderance to being reproducible was finding people who could do all of the stuff a church planter was supposed to do. They often need to be a bit super human… They need to be able to cast vision, evangelize, recruit, train new people, teach, administrate, market, lead small groups, set up systems, oversee finances… and the list actually goes on a bit longer, but you get the idea. And for the first few years, they usually need to be bi-vocational as well. (Not only is that a challenge to being reproducible, not the most sustainable process either.)
The guy who planted out of our church in Wellsboro PA, was a retired CEO with an MBA from Cornell before church planting.
My thought is, what if the bar was lowered? Now, not in character or godliness, spiritual formation…I’d actually like to see that bar raised a bit. But lowered in the job description? What if what was expected of the planter was much less than it is now? What if what was expected form a lead pastor was much less? What if rather than going out on their own, they were more part of a network of related churches? What if you had a model where someone could be bi-vocational for years, while pastoring/leading a church and feel energized rather than burnt-out?
I’m still working this out…it’s more of a conversation I’m having with friends over a meal rather than a well written concept at this point.
I’d love to hear any thoughts you had on why reproducing can be a challenge…or if any of my random questions struck a chord with you.