Your Church’s Multiplication Assessment: The Key Starting Point

Is your church part of the multiplying mission Jesus called His Church to pursue?

Lindy Lowry

By now, you (hopefully) are aware that currently, only 4 percent of U.S. churches reproduce. Hopefully, you also know that Exponential’s goal is to increase that stat to a tipping point where 10 percent of all U.S. churches are reproducing.

Jesus’ Great Commission to His disciples will only be carried out through the multiplication of His Church.

Moving beyond the 4 percent takes courageous leadership. Changing your church’s scorecard and operating system from addition to multiplication growth (see last week’s articles about changing the operating system) requires leaders to look candidly at how you’re doing and honestly assess where your church is on the multiplication spectrum. To that end, Exponential developed the Becoming 5 Assessment Tool to help churches move toward multiplication by discovering their multiplication profile and pattern. Church leaders that have taken the assessment say that learning about their multiplication profile has helped them find their starting point.

“The assessment gave us some concrete understanding of where we are as a church,” says Heath Haynes, leader of The Bridge Montrose in Houston, Texas.“Before, we only had a sense of where we were.” The Bridge assessed at a Level 4 but aspires toward Level 5 multiplication. Haynes adds that 10 of the church’s key leaders also took the assessment. “This was a great education tool for some of our laity who also took the survey.”

The Assessment Profiles

Multiplication profiles are based on the five cultures of multiplication that Exponential has identified and studied, consulting with numerous church-planting leaders: Level 1 (subtraction/survival), 2 (plateau/survival), 3 (growing by addition, not multiplication), 4 (reproducing) and 5 (multiplying, releasing and sending).

The multiplication pattern church leaders receive along with their profile offers a snapshot of where their church has been, where they currently are, and where they’d like to go. For example, a 1-1-5 score represents a church that has Level 1 behaviors in the past (1) and present (1), but aspires to be a Level 5 church in the coming years (5). A 3-4-5 pattern represents steady progress toward Level 5.

With more than 35 years of ministry experience, including his current role as chief catalyst for Healthy Growing Churches, Greg Wiens has worked with thousands of churches. “Each of the five distinct levels or types of churches clearly articulate what I have experienced in working with churches for the last 30 years,” says Wiens, who partnered with Exponential to develop the assessment tool. “This is especially true when I account for some overseas movements as Level 5 churches.”

(For a full exploration and detailed examples of the five profiles, download the FREE eBook Becoming a Level 5 Multiplying Church by Todd Wilson and Dave Ferguson.)

The Assessment Process

The process for discovering your church’s multiplication profile and pattern happens in three simple steps: 1) register for a free account (name and email) at becomingfive.org; 2) take the assessment at your convenience and pace (usually an average of 30 minutes to complete); and 3) review your results. Based on your responses, the assessment provides you with your church’s multiplication profile (Levels 1-5) and multiplication pattern.

To ensure the credibility of the tool, the online assessment went through rigorous evaluation, analysis and testing, including early review from a team of national leaders, followed by a survey evaluation with 75 other leaders, investment in a professional developer of assessment tools, and beta testing.

Moving Forward

With 96 to 99 percent of U.S. churches falling into Levels 1-3, the journey to Levels 4 and 5 takes intentionality and discipline. Exponential’s dream and prayer is to see an increasing number of churches move into a radically multiplying (or exponential) culture. The dream that Jesus gave His followers was the dream of a movement. Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth—that is a very big dream! In April, church planting leaders will be gathering at Exponential East 2017 to take their next step toward level 5 multiplication.

“Becoming Five is a strong tool to help the evangelical church realign herself back to her eternal design of selfless Kingdom engagement,” says Jeff Christopherson, vice president of the Send Network/NAMB and author of The Kingdom Matrix. “The only hope for Western Christianity is found within biblical recalibrations such as this.”

Note: A growing number of national networks, denominations and ministries have embraced the simple language and framework of Becoming Five. These ministries are encouraging their leaders to take the free online assessment. Ministries have the option of embedding the assessment on their websites. For more information, click here.