A Q&A With Carl George: Why We Aren’t Seeing Multiplication

Todd Wilson

It has been a blessing getting to know Carl George, an icon in the church growth movement. Whether or not you know his name, you’ve likely been impacted by Carl’s work. For decades, Carl has helped thousands of leaders identify why their church wasn’t growing and how to address those obstacles. He is one of the leading voices in church health and the author of several related books, including his seminal work, How to Break Growth Barriers.

So, this week we have the unique opportunity to hear Carl’s perspective on the relationship between church growth and multiplication!

Carl came to Exponential East 2017 to lead a couple of workshops and experience what was his first-ever Exponential gathering. I was really curious to talk to him for several reasons. First, he is a former church planter and really believes in church planting. He cares deeply about the local church. Second, Carl is a strategic thinker. I would almost bet that “futurist” is No. 1 on his StrengthsFinder assessment. I always appreciate the opportunity to talk with a fellow “futurist” and a respected voice in the Church who has spent his life coming alongside leaders to celebrate and assist them.

As I sat at dinner with Carl, I thought to myself, this guy is an amazing wealth of knowledge with so much experience and insights. At age 52, I found myself wanting to be his intern.

Of course, I also wanted to get Carl’s take on Exponential’s multiplication focus. It was especially satisfying when Carl told me that our drive to see the percentage of U.S. churches that ever reproduce increase from less than 4 percent to greater than 10 percent is “spot on” and consistent with the fruit the pioneers of the church growth movement hoped to see.

As Carl and I talked, I was thrilled to hear how excited he was about our mission to champion disciples making disciples and planting churches that plant churches. That week, we had the opportunity to sit down with him for an interview to get his take on the future landscape of the Church and what he sees as some of the primary obstacles we’ll need to overcome to see a multiplication movement in America. I think you’ll be extremely interested to read what Carl says we can and must do to leverage what we’ve learned about growing Level 3 churches to advance multiplication.

I strongly encourage you to check out this Q&A interview with this contender for the local church. It isn’t often that we get to hear from a leader with this much experience and wisdom—and the forward thinking necessary for helping us mobilize for true Kingdom advancement. As leaders, we should be continuous learners. We can learn much from this venerable voice

A continuous learner,

Todd

P.S. Rich Birch, host of the Unseminary Podcast, recently asked Carl what ministry he was looking to for inspiration. Carl said, “Exponential is the finest program for encouraging church planters that I’ve ever seen. Exponential is a very significant and very good work.” In response, Rich replied to Carl, “Exponential is amazing. Exponential, if you haven’t had a chance to be a part of it, is an incredible movement of church multiplication.”   Join us for one of our 5 Tour stops in Fall 2017 (Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, The Bay Area of San Francisco, and Houston). Click here to learn more about why you don’t want to miss attending!


Carl and Warren Bird have updated his best-selling book, How to Break Growth Carriers, (initially published in 1993). The new revised edition includes stories from today’s churches and explores the impact of churches that take seriously the priesthood of believers and the call to leaders to help people identify their gifting and actively release them to do the work of ministry both inside and outside the local church. You can check it out here.