One of my personal highlights from Exponential East was an unplanned, impromptu opportunity to spend about 45 minutes and create this Ralph Moore podcast interview. I was excited to meet and talk to Ralph because I had been using his church as an example of what we mean by a Level 5 Church. I have used Ralph’s churches as an example because of what Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird wrote about them in Viral Churches:
“Ralph Moore no longer knows how to operate without starting new churches on a consistent basis. He and his congregations have grown accustomed to the chaos, shifting, sending, and cost involved with such a movement. Even more than being accustomed to it – they like it.”
In other words, multiplication is so embedded in who they are, they would have to take intentional steps to stop growing churches. Ralph currently pastors a church of 300 and more that 2,300 churches now tie their roots back to the efforts God started through Ralph and his people.
Multiplication is so embedded in who they are, they would have to take intentional steps to stop growing churches.
Our conversation took place in the midst of an active conference but we were able to find a corner where we could talk. I’m glad our conversation was caught on audio so that I can share it with you. There were several parts that stood out to me:
- Vision: They were doing Level 4 activities but their vision to reach their area was too big to accomplish without multiplication. That led to a Level 5 paradigm shift. Think geocentric not church-centric.
- Leadership Development: This is a huge part of what they’ve been able to accomplish. MiniChurches are the training ground for leaders – all of whom are expected to be raising up at least 2 apprentices – who will go on to plant churches. They recruited leaders from everywhere including the rebels and a 6 year old girl who always had followers.
- Everyday Christ Followers: They are effective at releasing the Priesthood of ALL Believers. Instead of a “We can do it, you can help” posture, they have embraced a “You can do it, we can help” philosophy where everyone is expected to move up the chain.
- Strategy Follows: He describes their movement as more pragmatic and value driven than strategic. I got the impression that strategy, structure and systems were always chasing what the Holy Spirit was doing.
- Humility: The other thing that struck me was Ralph’s incredible humility. He doesn’t try to come across as THE expert – more like a blind man helping another blind man find a piece of bread. At 70 years old he’s still every bit the “learner”. He’s a good example of what Jim Collins refers to as a Level 5 Leader.
Listen to this Ralph Moore podcast interview for yourself and let me know what stood out to you…