• Lucas

Church Multiplication

Updated: Jan 3

Church and ministry leaders are always looking for church growth tools and methods. Myself included. We have over 1600 churches that we want to see grow and multiply. One of our problems is that most of them are underground churches, so we can't do much canvassing. This doesn't stop us from trying different church multiplication strategies though.

Underground Church Movement

Our burning desire at One Way Ministries is to help fulfill the Great Commission, which is to go to all nations and make disciples of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). Many of the nation's we are occupied in are very resistant to the gospel and are prone to persecution. This persecution is what drives a church "underground." You can't have a traditional church in a gospel resistant area without it sticking out like a sore thumb. This is why we focus on planting house churches.

House churches are normal houses that people meet in to have church services for small groups of people. When I was a kid I would hear about "underground church movements" and thought that they were literal churches under the ground. I thought it was the coolest thing and wanted to be a part of one! I was a little disappointed that they weren't actually underground, but am still very excited to be a part of one now!

Church Multiplication Network

We call ourselves a house church planting ministry, but in reality we are just a bunch of disciples doing what Jesus said to do. He said to "...go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:29-20). In order to teach people what Jesus commanded in persecuted regions, you have to gather them together in a private setting, AKA underground church. When you do this over and over, you begin to form a church multiplication network.

We are teaching our children to be entrepreneurs so we allowed them to get a few bunnies to raise and sell. They started with three bunnies. Two females and one male. A few months later these bunnies multiplied into 11 bunnies. Then they bought some different breeds to mate with the new ones and fast forward to about a year later they have on average 7 bunnies that are regularly giving birth to 5 to 12 babies at a time.

This is what is happening with the house churches. We have dedicated church planters that are out planting churches and then we have 1600+ churches that are always growing and multiplying. As long as we can keep the churches alive and motivated they will reproduce themselves, just like the bunnies. It started with one and has now transformed into an underground church movement and a church multiplication network.

Church Multiplication Campaign

Underground Church Movement Campaign

Our next campaign is to multiply our existing churches. We want to expand our territory and double our church network. We are going to test this method out in October 2021 to see if it brings fruit. It will no doubt bring more churches, but that does not mean they will be healthy. We are using the month of September to prepare all our leaders and church members for the campaign. Some or half of the members will be moved to another church. Many won't like this because they have made friends and connections where they are at, among other reasons.

In order for this campaign to succeed, the leaders have to motivate and inspire the current members. They need to realize that the goal of the Great Commission is to grow the body of Christ and expand until all nations have had a chance to hear the gospel. If they realize this and are on board, the campaign will be a success. If they only view it as a disruption or anything similar, it will weaken the individual church and possibly fail.

Possible Reasons of Failure

  • Not all members hear about the campaign

  • Members don't understand or believe in fulfilling the great commission

  • Aren't able to find a new leader to pastor the new church

  • Are rushed into appointing a poor leader to pastor the new church

  • Leaders don't fully understand the campaign

  • Existing church has under 8 members

Managing Potential Reasons of Failure

If we can address these and any other potential reasons of failure ahead of time, we will have a greater likelihood of success.

  • Explain why and how we will do everything to all leaders

  • Follow up to make sure they have disseminated all information to junior leaders and members

  • Find and prepare new leaders ahead of time

  • Send weekly messages reminding them of the campaign and what they are supposed to do

  • Remind the leaders to forward the weekly reminders

  • Grow the existing church to at least 8 members

I will follow up with this in another post to share the results. At the time this was written we have about 1650 house churches. I will document exactly how many we have before we officially start the campaign so we can use it as a case study to share with other church multiplication network ministries.

Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts as to why this will or won't work.

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