What It Takes to Become a Sending Church

A multiplication podcast with Spanish River Church's Ron Tobias

Ron Tobias

In this session from the Exponential conference, Ron Tobias shares proven multiplication strategies, including hiring and developing potential church planters, financing and vision casting, as well as potential roadblocks that can jeopardize your church’s multiplication culture.

As the executive pastor for Spanish River Church in Boca Raton, Florida, for the last 37 years, Ron is a true practitioner of multiplication. In the podcast excerpt below, Ron shares some of the benefits that Spanish River has seen from becoming a sending church, as well as the importance of staying “laser-focused.”

What It Takes to Become a Sending Church – Ron Tobias

“Church planting is biblical: It does come with a cost. No doubt about it. When we have guys come on staff and then leave to plant, we know people are going to follow them, and it will be a lot of good people who are going to follow them. And of course, that planter leaves a void when they leave. The amazing thing—and we see this happen every single time—is it just goes to shows the glory of God because He fills their roles, and He also raises up leaders. The opportunity for leadership development when you send people out is pretty amazing. It creates space in your own church for people to step out, and it creates space in the new church. We see guys that maybe wouldn’t be an elder or deacon at our church, but in a plant they’ll have that opportunity to step into that role. The good thing about sending is that it causes churches to be self-funded more quickly, and they’re able to fund other church plants more quickly.

The opportunity for leadership development when you send people out is pretty amazing.

“… One of the keys to becoming a sending church is to not get sidetracked. Everyone has an idea for your ministry, especially as you get bigger and have greater resources. However if you start doing these other things, you end up not doing what God has called your church to do. We stay laser-focused on church planting.”


For 37 years, Ron Tobias has served as executive pastor of Spanish River Church in Boca Raton, Florida. The 50-year- old church has supported the planting of 500 churches in 27 countries, including Tim Keller’s Redeemer Church in New York City, as well as founding the Acts 29 church-planting network.