The church is meant to be a launching pad for God’s Kingdom.
When you decide as the pastor to lead your church for the first time to be a sending church and take responsibility to start a new church, it’s most likely that you will receive objections from your people. The important thing to remember is how you respond to those objections. Will you respond harshly or will you respond confidently with compassion that will help lead your people to being passionate about multiplication? There are, of course, numerous objections that could be raised but let’s just take a look at three of them here that relate to the key culture of a Level 5 multiplying church.
“Planting costs too much.”
It costs too much is survival thinking. I believe most people feel that way because when they think of starting a new church, they only have their church structure in mind. The church may have a building, programs, and maintenance that costs money to maintain what you currently have. And they think about the challenges the church faces each day and cannot comprehend starting another church that would double the financial strain. The truth is that not ALL church planting costs a lot of money. Some church plants may not cost any money, depending on the model and the context. And even if the church wanted to be part of something that did cost a lot more in terms of money, then it can join in with other small churches and do it together. That way you spread the burden of resources…it’s just more fun when you partner together!
“Planting will destroy our growth momentum.”
This is an accumulating mindset–all about how many we can KEEP! In my experience in church planting, I’ve actually seen the opposite effect. When people visit your church and they see you celebrating people’s leadership capabilities and sending them out to do great things, that’s attractive. People are drawn to where things are happening. People can join other clubs that are meant to keep people and cater to their wants and needs and exclude others. The church is meant to be a launching pad for God’s Kingdom. Additionally, I believe God just blesses you with more people when you send them out. I know this was true for the church I was a part of most recently. Every time we sent 50 out to go help plant a church, God would send us new people. So our momentum never died out, it actually increased and allowed us more seats for when new people came to check it out. Sending out is a great solution to being too crowded in your services.
“We can’t afford to lose our best leaders.”
If we live here, then we’ll never become a Releasing culture. I say you can’t afford not to lose your best! I think God is just as concerned, if not more, about how many we send out, not just how many we seat in our Sunday morning services. They may be right though, you may “lose” your best, but another church is receiving your best. And by Sending (not losing) your best, you open up new spots now for new people to be raised up and replace them to be the new best! That’s a great leadership development strategy. By sending them out, you are forced to make new leaders! Jack Welch, former CEO of GE said “If the best person to take over as CEO is an outsider, your company has failed. You send the message, ‘You are not good enough, you stink, and I have to go outside to shape you guys up.’” Are we telling our lay people that they’re not good enough when we don’t develop them to do big things and send them out to start new churches?
To become a Level 5 Multiplying Church, you’ll have to stay the course and be ready to answer the objections that come your way.
Shane Critser lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Jennifer, and their three kids, Chase, Chloe, and Charley. He currently serves as the director of church mobilization at NAMB. Before moving to Atlanta, Shane served as the mission pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada where he gave leadership to Hope’s 9 church plants at the time. Follow Shane on Twitter @shanecritser
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