This is the first part of some training I’m taking my leaders through at Western Hills. Here are the notes to part 1.
Couple of thoughts as we begin on this topic of multiplication.
First, when we speak of multiplying our ministry, what we are really talking about is multiplying people. People advance the Kingdom of God, not programs. Programs will and should come and go. Programs are tools to be used and evaluated and changed. Their effectiveness will change from year to year.
People on the other hand are the constant. It is people that we are called to multiply and make disciples. The life change stories, the relationships – these are what we are talking about when we talk about multiplying ministry.
Second, this is essential if we really want to be an outward-focused church that functions as the hands and feet of Christ to our community. ESSENTIAL. Any church or follower of Jesus that takes seriously the words of Jesus MUST effectively and consistently multiply their ministry. It is what is at the core of the Great Commission (Matthew 28).
Quick Exercise #1
List all the stuff you are involved in. School stuff, family stuff, church stuff, work stuff. Just a quick list that demands time of you other than specifically your job.
Keep that list handy – we are going to come back to it.
The 3 Circles Of Multiplication
I think there are 3 concentric circles that we need to think about when it comes to multiplication. No particular order, all are needed and important. Ministry, People, and Process.
Circle 1- Ministry WORTH multiplying
This is the program side of the equation. Lot’s of questions and issues we can deal with in this circle. Is it relevant? Is it fun? Is the effort it takes to pull it off worth it? Is it making a difference? Is it producing what we want it to?
But the fundamental, core question that MUST be dealt with is this: Is the focus of the ministry the same as God’s focus?
God’s focus is clear. Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Love God, Love Others, Serve All, Make Disciples who do the same. At Western Hills we articulate these as – Love, live and serve.
Just pay careful attention to question. It’s not “are there elements that support or participate in love, live and serve?” Almost every program does that in a church but not every program has it as its focus. The question is what is the real focus of that ministry? Is it reaching the lost, making disciples, serving the community? Time to be brutally honest.
Hold on to this question — put it right over here. Let me quickly hit the other two circles.
Circle 2 – People READY to Multiply
Should you multiply yourself in every person inside your ministry?
Harsh reality is NO. Every person deserves to be ministered to. NOT every person is ready to be multiplied into leadership. 2 Timothy 2:2 – invest in able, qualified people.
Some are not ready because of character issues, giftedness, competency, season of life.
Different roles will have different expectations.
The core question in this circle is this:
Do you invest in potential OR do you look for provenness?
Circle 3 – Process WORTH Multiplying
Key Question: Is there a simple yet proven process that moves people from spectator to participant to multiplier?
Lots of other questions go into this circle. Do you have processes that protect the people AND the ministry in case things go upside down? Do you have clearly defined roles and leaders in that process? Do you have markers that let you know you are heading the right direction? What skills and competencies are you looking for?
To successfully and consistently multiply leaders, all three of these circles need to have these key questions answered with definite action points.
The point tonight is not to answer all these questions or even flesh out all of these circles but rather to give us a 35,000k foot viewpoint of this process. To begin to start thinking in these terms so that as we add these pieces to the puzzle, multiplication can start happening.
Quick Exercise #2: The Importance of Ministry Worth Multiplying Circle
Take that list of activities that you created at the start of the evening.
Ask for volunteer.
There is a great opportunity to tutor at risk kids after school, using any curriculum I want. I can even use the scriptures for character studies but I need someone to help me, are you in?
First – any opportunity that I’m offered I’m first going to my list of stuff that I’m already involved in and I’m asking myself – is this opportunity WORTH fitting into my life? Either cramming it into an already packed life OR by saying NO to something else. WORTH is relatively defined.
I’m also going to evaluate my list of activities with this question – is this WORTH doing?
Second – as a leader – I want to make sure I define WORTH like God has defined WORTH. This is a love, live and serve opportunity. This is a Great Commandment/Great Commission opportunity.
My job as a leader is NOT to guilt people into showing up or participating. That won’t last and it’s not of God. My job is to be a champion of what God is doing. To point out the already there eternal value and worth of the opportunity.
Quick Exercise #3 – Take a ministry you are in and walk thru 3 circles answering key questions.
Example: Men’s Fraternity
Circle 1 – focus is to disciple men into being spiritual leaders who love, live and serve. YES, worth it.
Circle 2 – Need a key PROVEN leader for director/champion position. Same vision, passion for discipleship. Deep Christ-follower, self-starter, available to do it, teachable, high character, honest, not perfect, vulnerable.
Found the guy – now ready to start.
Circle 3 — Process proven to work
Other churches have their trophies, we don’t…yet. We have process we want to try, run with it and evaluate as we go.
Nor do we have a process to replace Director…yet. We will need to address this if this is going to make it beyond just one season. Every ministry needs to wrestle with that question otherwise focus becomes the program and filling slots.
4 Foundational Multiplication Principles
1. Make micro decisions with macro viewpoint of does this advance God’s Kingdom?
2. Call people NORTH. Even yourself.
Ask more of people than where they are. Don’t ever demand more of those around you than yourself. Keep Love, Live, Serve in the forefront.
3. Something is better than nothing.
It’s easier to steer than start. GO! Starting somewhere and changing it later is better than doing nothing until you have the perfect plan. We know what doing nothing produces – nothing.
4. Invest in PEOPLE, not the program.
Programs have shelf life. Our job isn’t to keep the program running. Our calling is to make disciples who love, live, and serve.
Open Questions, Comments, and Thoughts
Which circle should we start with? Depends. All three need to be developed and dealt with but program and condition of culture will have a HUGE role in determining which circle to tackle first.
Key entry points into ministries is PEOPLE (relationship) and MINISTRY (program) but long term investment will only happen if all three are developed.
PROCESS is the most neglected circle in most churches. They spend time and energy running around to fill slots instead of developing people. Must change in order to be a multiplying church.