“I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.” –renowned NCAA football coach Lou Holtz
Years ago, I heard leadership coach and author Bob Biehl say that he loved to collect questions. That thought intrigued me. So since that time, I’ve been a student and collector of questions. Scripture shows us that Jesus frequently used questions to challenge people’s paradigm. Questions have the power to challenge us to listen closer to the voice of God, see things from a different perspective, and guide us to breakthrough new behaviors.
This week, I had the privilege to sit with a group of pastors and denominational and network leaders that Exponential gathered to dream about what it would look like to birth Level 5 Multiplying Churches. As this group wrestled with tough questions, prayed and asked even more questions, we began to realize that God is up to something in His Church in the United States. Though we hailed from different tribes, generations and even church models, we all sensed a unifying clarity that God had been saying the same thing to all of us independently. It’s time for the church in America to learn how to make disciples that make disciples—resulting in the expansion of His Kingdom through church multiplication.
While we’re still seeking the answers, we did walk away challenged to think deeper, pray harder, and unite boldly to seek God’s direction. This journey started more than a year ago with the Becoming a Level 5 Multiplying Church eBook and the Becoming Five assessment tool.
Please join us in wrestling with these questions by reading the eBook and taking the assessment, and then going before God and asking some challenging questions:
- What fresh expressions of church will we see rising up in this next generation?
- How can we plant more churches without being dependent upon a funding model that requires a full-time pastor?
- Is it possible to have a church so serious about multiplication (deeply embedded in their DNA) that 10 years from now they cannot even count the number of churches that have spawned from their influence?
- How do we send out a new generation of planters with a multiplication mindset from the very beginning?
- How can we help young planters redefine “success” and not spend their lives and ministry striving for the wrong scorecard of big attendance and big giving?
- What would happen if the mentality of the average church shifted from “We can do it, and you can help” to “You can do it, and we can help?”
- How can we see more churches mobilize people to live as missionaries in their community?
- How can we as leaders have a bias toward “GO,” instead of “NO” empowering people to be the Church?
- What might happen if apostolic leaders took on a posture of, “I must decrease; He must increase?”
Questions like these led to rich and convicting conversations that could’ve gone on for days. As I headed home after the two-day gathering, I left convinced that if we risk asking the challenging questions, we might just discover that God will call us to:
- repent of focusing on building our “kingdom” instead of, or at the cost of, His Kingdom;
- die to self and find new levels of humility and dependence;
- lead our people away from a cultural consumer Christianity and equip them to be passionate missionaries in their community;
- a deep conviction that we really don’t make a disciple until that disciple has made a disciple;
- work in partnership with people unlike us for Kingdom purposes;
- pour out our souls in prayer, asking for a spiritual awakening in our nation.
Challenging questions may challenge us to adopt new ways of living and leading in His Kingdom—potentially ushering in new movements of God that we’ve never before imagined in our lifetime.
Mac has a passion for developing leaders especially in the area of church planting. He is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute (1984) and Dallas Theological Seminary (1990). In 1997, he planted Carolina Forest Community Church (Myrtle Beach, SC). In 2004, he began serving as Leadership Development Pastor at Seacoast Church (Charleston, SC) where he served for over six years. In 2011 Mac worked with Brian Bloye to start the LAUNCH Church Planting Network. After five years Mac and Brian gave the North American Mission Board the church planting system they developed. Today Mac serves as the Senior Director of Church Planting Development for NAMB’s Send Network. Mac and his wife Cindy live in metro Atlanta. You can follow Mac on his blog at www.maclakeonline.com.