The following is a guest blog post by Bruce Wesley, the founding pastor of Clear Creek Community Church in League City, Texas, a multi-campus church of 5000+. Bruce is one of our 50+ speakers at the Exponential Regionals this fall:
A Culture of Multiplication
My favorite definition of culture is “what most of the people do most of the time.” In the world of church leadership, it’s clear that some churches have a culture of growth while other churches have a culture of multiplication. What churches who value growth “do most of the time” is very different than what churches who value multiplication “do most of the time.” Here are three things we do in our efforts to build a culture of multiplication.
Model Simple and Reproducible Methods of Making Disciples
“People do with others what someone did with them,” I said across the table of lasagna. I was casting vision for how multipliers are committed to methods that are simple and reproducible. On the other side of the table, Aaron smiled knowingly before affirming my words with his own experience. He explained, “That’s exactly what happened with me.” He described how he was discipling students by doing exactly what the person who discipled him did with him. Aaron used the same material, met on the same day, and even met at the same time. It’s what someone did with him, so it’s what he was doing with others. Chances are, some of the students Aaron discipled will do with others what he did with them. After all, what he did was simple and reproducible.
Celebrate Multiplication Behaviors
At our leadership retreat, the staff person holding the microphone began calling the names of disciple-making leaders in the room. Without explaining why, she asked them to stand and state who trained them to make disciples. When they answered, the person or couple they named stood and was asked the same question. Only after ten to twelve people were standing did she explain what she was doing. A diagram of a “family tree” appeared on the video screen with names of those standing. She explained that over 300 people are currently being discipled by this “family tree” of disciple-makers that began with the Rajaji family. She called Vijay and Sonia Rajaji to the stage, and the room of hundreds of church leaders erupted in applause. The Rajajis were led to faith in Jesus by a neighbor who is part of our church. Now, the Rajaji “family tree” is making more than 300 disciples at one time. We celebrated the behavior that we want to see duplicated in each of us. Celebration of multiplication builds a culture of multiplication. As the saying goes, what gets celebrated gets repeated.
Cast Vision for Multiplication
When the city-wide gathering of HCPN (Houston Church Planting Network) ended, I met with the eight-person cohort of church planting residents. It was my first time to talk to the new class since their selection. I looked them in the eyes for an uncomfortable period of time before I said, “We did not select you to be part of this residency because we think you can plant a church. You were selected because we believe God will use you to plant a church that multiplies. We believe you can play an integral role in multiplying churches that spread across Houston like an infestation of mice. Only through multiplication can we push the light of the gospel into every dark corner of the city.” I wanted this to be the first thing said to them because a culture of multiplication does not come easily. We must cast vision unceasingly that calls us out of the comfortable accolades of growth to the transforming power of multiplication.
Special Invitation from Bruce
Bruce Wesley is one of over 50 speakers at the Exponential Regional conferences this fall. Join Bruce and others at the Houston regional conferences!
Hero Maker Conferences
Hero Maker is the theme for Exponential 2018. The theme focuses on the shift from being the hero to coming alongside others for them to become the heroes in our church’s unfolding story. At each conference, we will unpack the 5 essential practices for leaders to multiply leaders: multiplication thinking, permission giving, disciple multiplying, gift activating, and kingdom building.
|5 Main Sessions||10+ Speakers||FREE Equipping Labs|
Regional Conference Locations
- Washington, DC: September 10-11
- Southern California: October 2-4
- Bay Area: October 22-23
- Houston: October 24-25
- Chicago: November 6-7
- New York City: December 5-6
To learn more and to register for any of the 2018 Hero Maker conferences, click here.