"You can't plant churches any more."
You might expect that statement from a persecutor.
In this particular case, it was a ministry leader speaking to a large number of church planters.
A key movement trainer frequently tells this story; I heard it again just today.
The problem: many churches were being planted – but not enough.
Continuing to plant churches one-by-one meant not reaching the current generation (or, really, future generations). Multiplication was required.
So, the leadership of the ministry told the church planters in their network: “You can’t plant churches any more.”
“You have to help your people – the ones in the churches you have started – to go out and start new groups themselves.”
About half of the leaders in this particular network ended up saying – “No. We plant churches. That’s what we’re called to do.” They left.
The ones that remained began working on the task, and today there is a vast, multiplying movement as a result.
The question articulated is “not what I can do” but “what needs to be done.” As evidenced by the situation, it’s a challenging question to answer. Not everyone will say “yes” to the vision. It’s not always what God has called them to. But sometimes–perhaps often–the hard task of stopping something, and helping someone else do what we have done, and perhaps do it better – for them to increase, and us to decrease – is the challenge we must meet.
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