Summary: How To Help Daughter Churches Multiply
How To Help Daughter Churches Multiply
1. The students will explain why daughter churches usually do not start new churches.
2. The students will explain how daughter churches can overcome obstacles to starting new churches.
3. The students will write a short paper contrasting and comparing the motivating and demotivating factors for giving birth to daughter churches.
Introduction - When many new churches begin, the members seem to forget that they have a responsibility to plant other churches.
Example - One church began with one seed family who helped win their neighbors to Christ. Within one year’s time, the church had grown to 150 members. Instead, of teaching the people how to lead others to Christ, begin prayer groups in members houses, show the men how to lead Bible studies in their neighborhoods, and plant new churches, the founding family concentrated on solidifying their power. Instead of emphasizing witnessing, the family got elders elected who would support their decisions. Rather than reproducing itself through other daughter churches, this family tried to build up their own ``kingdom.’’
What was wrong with how this family went about leading the church? How could they have avoided the many internal struggles in the church over power. What does the Bible teach us about our responsibilities to give birth to daughter churches. Let us ask the Lord for help in understanding how we might be more effective in doing the whole will of God for ourselves and the churches we are involved in!
I. Begin By Understanding the Reasons Why Daughter Churches Tend to Not Start Other Churches
A. Many people say that they must wait until their church gets big enough to support missionaries. Christ’s command to ``Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields for they are white for harvest,’’ (Jn. 4:35) applied to young churches as well as old churches.
B. Some overseers do not want to start new churches. They are afraid they will lose their own members, money, influence, power, prestige, security, and control over the church. People must remember that the church belongs to no one except Jesus Christ. Jesus said, ``I will build my church and the gates of hell (all opposing forces) will not prevail against it.’’ (Mt. 16:18)
C. Some people think that beginning a new church will cost a lot of money. Most new churches begin with a prayer meeting, a Bible study, or a small worship service in a seed family’s home. Perhaps, the only cost might be for benches.
D. Some people think that you do not have a church unless you have a building.
A church is not to be understood as a building but it is the people that make up a church. Jesus said, ``Where two or three are gathered together, there am I in the midst of you.’’ (Mt. 18:20)
E. Some people do not recognize the difference between:
1). Internal growth (Helping church members to grow spiritually)
2). Expansion growth (Building a bigger building, adding an assistant Pastor, or expanding the ministries within the church)
3). Extension growth (Starting a new church in a nearby location)
4). Bridging growth (Sending a seed family or a missionary to a new area to begin a church in an area of unreached peoples) (McGavaran, p.100-101)
We want to encourage our churches to experience all types of growth. However, the two that are most neglected are extension and bridging growth!!!
F. Some Pastors hesitate to give daughter churches Local Church Board status for fear that they will lose control. This may indicate that the Pastors, Local Overseers, or Chairman are insecure in themselves. Perhaps, they feel that the Holy Spirit is not adequate somehow to take care of His church?
G. Perhaps, few people have vision for starting new churches.
H. Perhaps, no one offered training like this in starting new churches.
I. Perhaps it is difficult to find a seed family who can take responsibility for holding the prayer meetings in their home.
J. Perhaps, the new area has a great deal of Muslims.
Example - A new church in Jos, was recently started in a Muslim section of town. Despite opposition the Lord used the faith of a few to begin a new fellowship. The Lord used many people who had formerly been overlooked in starting a new church in a predominately Muslim section!
K. Many churches are not being started because leaders are overlooking members, neighbors, and the silent majority.
L. The initiative for starting new churches may come from seminary teachers, evangelists, or other outsiders. Each church must realize that although they may ask for help from outsiders in beginning new churches, ultimately, the responsibility lies with each local church.
M. People must stop thinking that a bigger church is always better.
Example - It would be better to have ten churches of 200 people in all areas of a town, village, or large city than to have one centrally located church of 2,000 members. The church would grow faster in both quantitative and qualitative ways!