In this conversation, Larry Walkemeyer draws on Scripture, his personal experience and his church’s story to unpack the answers to crucial multiplication questions, such as what it takes to build a passion for multiplication in the church you lead, as well as how to overcome your addiction to attraction (essentially leading a large church that grows but doesn’t multiply) and what it looks like to change the culture of your church in which people envision being part of a multiplication movement.
As pastor of Light & Life Fellowship in Long Beach, California, and author of the eBook Play Thuno: The World-Changing Multiplication Game, Larry is bent on seeing churches multiply. In the podcast excerpt below, he highlights the vital need for structuring our passion for multiplication with strategy. Without a plan, the vision and passion grow cold.
“Strategy structures your passion. Without strategy, a plan, here’s what happens: You get people all wound up about the vision and get them praying in that direction. Yet they’re wondering, but how? How are we going to do this? What are the first steps? I think about Mission 2010 at our church. I had cast the vision for multiplication and had our church all cranked up to plant churches in all nine of our city council districts by 2010. We were praying hard when somebody asked, ‘Pastor Larry, what are our first steps?’ I couldn’t tell them. The passion began to go down because I had this nice vision but no plan for seeing it come to fruition. As soon as we developed a plan, people began to say, ‘Oh, that could work’. So you’ve got to structure your passion so that you can continue to build on the vision. Structure provides the channel for the river to flow in. Until there’s a blueprint, the passion will start to wane.
Until there’s a blueprint, the passion will start to wane.
“But write the blueprint in pencil. I’ve seen so many church planters mess up at this point. They develop the strategy, but something different starts happening and instead of erasing and changing the blueprint, they say, ‘No, no, no, this is the plan.‘ Yes, be mean about the vision, but the strategy to multiply must remain flexible. If you can’t or refuse to erase, you’ll be stuck to your strategy, and it will be dead in the water. You might miss an unexpected yet deftly orchestrated move of the Spirit.”
Since 1991, Kansas native Larry Walkemeyer has led Light & Life Christian Fellowship in Long Beach, California, and has seen a handful of committed “white folks” grow into a large, multi-ethnic urban church that has planted 19 churches. He has also started international church-planting networks in the Philippines, Ethiopia and Indonesia and is the author of the eBooks Play Thuno and Flow, as well as the co-author of 15 Characteristics of Effective Pastors. He and his wife, Deb, have been married since 1976. Together, they enjoy snow and water skiing, biking, long beach walks, traveling and hanging out with their kids.