Seven Steps to Adopting a Church Multiplication Culture Without Breaking Wineskins

Most healthy churches are in a constant state of flux as they respond to their people’s needs and the ever-changing external environment. Technology, politics and certainly pandemics demand flexibility. The move from a congregation- centric culture to a church multiplication culture is a once in a lifetime shift for any congregation. It is rare, substantial and can be damaging if not handled carefully.

Large-scale changes affect your most important asset, your people. Losing members is costly due to the pace of disciplemaking. Each time a member abandons you and your mission, they take relationships, abilities and even money with them. The weight of change necessitates intimate understanding and acceptance of any cultural modification as you restructure your congregation’s mission.

1 Define Church Multiplication Culture as It Is Rooted in Scripture

    • Teach to create a desire for change (Culture of Multiplication from Gospels, Acts and Ephesians)
    • Point to missed opportunities and current deficiencies
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
      • What do we need to change to achieve our goal?
      • Why is this change required?

2 Build an Elite Group of Positive Responders

    • Who compliments your teaching toward multiplication?
    • Disciple them separately
    • Harvest responses and ideas
    • Direct them toward MicroChurch planting
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
  • Who is giving positive feedback to teaching?
  • Who is most capable of planting a Microchurch?
  • How can I stoke enthusiasm to overcome complacency?

3 Meet Separately with Each Leadership Stratum

    • Begin with the core and work outwards
    • Include young people-they are your next-generation leaders
    • Harvest ideas here for systemic change
    • Develop a timeline for orderly, systemic change
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
  • Who will be most affected by culture change?
  • Who must I first convert to multiplication thinking?
  • How can I use the Multiplication Challenge to shape the thinking of each leadership strata? https://exponential.org/
  • Who was left out or chose to miss the meeting?

4 Incorporate Change into Your Systems and Structures

    • Compare the current culture with the desired culture
    • Identify and prioritize necessary changes to reshape your culture
    • Network the change agents, meet with them in groups
    • Provide useful training materials, videos, etc. Use outside resources to inspire vision (Let Go of the Ring) or coaching materials from this module
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
  • Where is support most required?
  • What modifications are necessary for the new structure?
  • Who is most affected? (they require personal attention)

5 Identify a Benchmark Change

    • Set and accomplish short term goals
    • Measure the change process
    • Persevere-expect some breakage
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
  • What three changes (in priority order) will produce the most significant long-term effects?
  • Where is the low-hanging fruit, the quick wins?
  • What are the costs associated with opportunities, and am I willing to absorb them?

6 Communicate Often and Through Multiple Outlets

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
  • Can a “theme for the year” feed into a multiplication culture? Over five years?
  • What data points will most communicate urgency to my people?

7 Prepare for the Unforeseen

    • Create tools and checkpoints to measure change
    • Continually assess and address the cultural landscape
    • Meet privately with individuals who may resist or lose something because of the new culture.
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT:
  • Do I feel that we’ve created a safe environment for change to a church multiplication culture?
  • Are we financially prepared for any unforeseen “hiccups” along the way, such as big donors deciding this isn’t for them or unexpected structural/program expenses?

An effective multiplication culture always begins with senior leadership. If you aren’t absolutely devoted to reproducing disciples and multiplying churches, your people won’t be. Disciplemaking and even planting an occasional church may occur to some degree, but that won’t constitute a culture.

Examine your own life. Does your job center on growing a church or making disciples? For me, discipling my staff was the first item on the job description. The second? Equipping the congregation through weekend Bible teaching in a manner that allowed home groups to function as disciplemaking groups with the weekend teaching as the core material.

Different strokes for different folks. However, if you aspire to multiplying churches it begins with discipling your inner circle so they will disciple others and shifting into equipping mode in everything you do.

NOTE: The above is the cheatsheet for Session 8 of Coaching with Ralph Moore: Module 1 Embedding Multiplication Deep into Your Church Culture. You can listen to either the audio or video of this session. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO or CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO.

For more information about Ralph’s Coaching Platform you can CLICK HERE.

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