Who is your why?
Why do you do the things you do and who do you do them for? That was a children’s video theme song when our two oldest children, Aaron and Bethany, were little. I don’t know if they think about it now that they are adults, but that song is often in my head. “Why do I do the things I do and who do I do them for?”
Every Christian faces these two questions. Denominations do too. It’s just the way God works. The Holy Spirit keeps us accountable for our motives.
Church multiplication is still the most effective way to reach new people for Christ.
Why are we so passionate about church multiplication? It’s not because it’s the new cool thing. North America has become a mission field. Souls are going into eternity every day, and we want them to go to heaven, but too many are not.
Church multiplication is still the most effective way to reach new people for Christ. Ralph Moore says, “If we are going to penetrate our world for Jesus, we must multiply our congregations while we add converts to them.”
Who are we doing this for? For Jesus. Plain and simple. And why?
Who is your why? The person that represents your passion. Someone you led to the Lord in the past and that deep joy still drives you to leave the 99 and find one more. Or that person whom you still pray for and represents the people whom are far from God.
Joe and Elaine Mroz are my why. It happened on Easter Sunday 1988. Our Buffalo, New York, ministry began hard and dry as many church plants do. But when Joe and Elaine visited Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church with their two little girls and gave their hearts to Jesus that same day, I knew I could keep going. They came back, began to grow and got baptized.
When I opened the preschool that fall, their daughter, Jeanette, was one of my first students. If you visit Eastern Hills preschool today, you will meet Jeanette because she brings her daughter there now. They are a family transformed.
When I think about the why of church multiplication, Joe and Elaine are my why. Their family tree is forever changed because they were introduced to Jesus in our church.
Who is your why?
- Anita Eastlack
I Was Wrong About Church Planting
I never wanted to be a church planter. I was comfortable in established churches rich with history, heritage and impact. I saw potential in the established local church.
It was hard for me to “get on board” with multiplication. I held certain assumptions about church planting—until the Holy Spirit initiated a head and heart shift.
Church planting isn’t necessary if we could make the established church relevant again.
My leadership was invested in fine-tuning environments, language, branding and leadership styles to adapt to culture. If I could get the formula right, more people would come, and more lives would be changed. It’s not enough to be relevant. We need to be necessary. I needed to shift my value of relevance to gospel-centeredness.
Church planting is for rebels.
Church planters are unique. They are passionate but humble. Most will share freely about failures, hard lessons learned and ways they rely on others. I needed to shift my proximity and be closer to these humble and courageous leaders.
Church planting is just another program or growth strategy.
I assumed church planting was a denominational brand expansion or survival tactic. Rereading Acts and early church accounts convinced me otherwise. Multiplication is the overflow of Christ’s heart. Mission cannot be contained. I had to shift from a survival mindset to a legacy mindset.
Healthy churches grow and so does my leadership.
God is less concerned about what he will do under my leadership and more interested in what he will do through my leadership. Would I be available for ministry where I wasn’t the hero and more interested in kingdom objectives than validating my identity? I needed to shift from a hero mindset to a hero-maker mindset.
Multiplication overemphasizes evangelism and underestimates discipleship.
The longer I serve, the more I realize people encountering a salvific relationship with Christ are saved into a mission. Jesus deploys them to seek and save the lost. Evangelism happens for discipleship and to be a disciple is to evangelize. I needed to shift my discipleship heartbeat to reflect the heartbeat of Christ.
I was wrong about multiplication. Championing multiplication is championing the heart of Christ.
- Steve Hubbard
Five Reasons to Plant with The Wesleyan Church
If you are thinking about planting a church with The Wesleyan Church (TWC) or know someone who should plant with TWC, keep reading. I am a Wesleyan church planter, writing from the trenches about my experiences with my broader church family. Wesleyans aren't perfect. No organization is. But here are five reasons why I think you should consider planting with TWC:
1. Missional Focus
We believe in the power of God to change lives, and we are focused on moving the mission of God forward in our world. This focus is displayed at denominational, district and local leadership levels. Rather than being worried about the status quo, TWC has proven a willingness to take risks and try new things. TWC truly embraces a movement-over-model mentality.
2. Established Church Planting Systems
We didn’t start focusing on church planting yesterday. In the last 15 years, TWC has planted over 450 churches in the United States. We have learned many lessons (some the hard way) and have systems in place to assess, train and coach our church planters. In addition, we are constantly trying to get better at this process. Most recently we developed the Church Multiplication Collective to assist us.
We believe in the power of God to change lives.
3. Partners in the Journey
One of the worst feelings in church planting is of being alone. When you plant with TWC, you won’t be alone. You will be connected to other planters who can encourage you, prod you and be a champion for you. In addition, you will be connected with a coach, someone who has church planting experience and who will be committed to walking with you through the adventure of a lifetime.
4. Wesleyan Pastors Stick
A recent study of our pastors five years after their ordination revealed that 86 percent were still in ministry. When the pastors coming into a denomination choose to stay, something good is happening.
5. Wesleyan Ministerial Loan Grant and Pension Fund
None of us are in ministry for the money. If you happen to be going into church planting because you think there is a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, you will be one unhappy leprechaun. However, there are a few financial benefits of planting with TWC including financial help for schooling, financial grant opportunities for launching and a pension fund to help later in life.
- Andy Merritt
Considering church planting?
Learn more about the Church Multiplication Collective, an intentional multiplication community that is cultivating and equipping church planters.