Intentional Multiplication: Principles Driving Our IBC Church Multiplication Strategy
- “Nobody finishes well by accident.” – John C. Maxwell
- “Intention is to say, ‘I have a dream, and now I’m going to do something about it.’” – Jeremie Kubicek
- “Multiplication is the intentional transfer of knowledge, skills, and expertise into the lives of the people you lead. The key is being intentional.” – The 100X Leader
Intentionally transferring knowledge, skills, and expertise can look very different from one organization to the next, from one church to the next, and from one leader to the next. Communication is key. Four of the most effective ways to multiply into others is through informing, training, coaching, and apprenticeship. We’ve developed our church multiplication strategy around these four approaches.
Informing is probably the most common and traditional approach to intentionally transferring knowledge, wisdom, and skills. Sharing information is typically done in a one-way manner. This can occur through written, verbal, even video mediums. The hopeful return on investment with informing is: consistency where everyone gets the same information, efficiency with mass communication, and inspiration where engagement and buy-in to the future vision is created. There is incredible power in informing when done well.
Our first strategic objective in multiplying churches is to inform all IBC leaders about church multiplication-related subjects and news. We intend to use Facebook groups, Highlights articles, monthly newsletters, our website, and personal opportunities at IBC events and church visits. Our goal is to increase our leaders’ awareness of church-planting topics and the church-planting activities of our IBC churches.
Multiplying by way of training occurs by facilitating learning events with intentional objectives and a planned process. Training is said to be most effective with groups of 15 to 25 but can stretch as high as 50 people. However, the long-term ROI diminishes as the level of genuine interaction declines. People need to interact frequently with the content and with others and see the practical application for their immediate context.
Our second strategic objective in multiplying churches is to train all interested IBC leaders in church multiplication-related subjects. We plan to use primarily two learning events: annual Multiply Conferences and monthly Church Multiplication Network (CMN) online gatherings.
The purpose of the Multiply Conference is to invite every IBC church into the conversation and learn about multiplying international churches around the world. The conference is a venue for discussing the many facets of international church planting, generating ideas, and discovering opportunities to inform our church multiplication efforts.
CMNs are for everyone — parent church leaders, church planters, church plant team members, church leaders who want to help partner churches, and anyone else with a desire to play a role in seeing disciples and churches multiply. Our CMNs are gathering online once a month to share their church’s multiplication plans and efforts, learn together, encourage one another, and develop disciple-making competencies and leadership effectiveness. Networking together brings immediate benefits to participants personally, to their churches, and to the churches being planted.
The hopeful return on investment with training is focused content relevant and timely for our leaders, connection leading to relational engagement with other leaders, and identification of leadership talents and skills that can be shared in broader contexts.
Coaching is the consistent investment in leaders over time with mutually agreed upon objectives, in an interactive learning process. In his book, The COACH Model for Christian Leaders, Keith Webb defines coaching this way, “Coaching is an ongoing intentional conversation that empowers a person or group to fully live out God’s calling.” Coaching could look like one-to-one consulting, best practice core groups, or a number of other approaches. With any coaching approach, it must be intentional to see real results.
Our third strategic objective in multiplying churches is to coach potential parent church pastors/leaders toward church multiplication. Our goal is to come alongside those IBC leaders/churches who would invite us to walk with them through an intentional season of moving toward church planting. We want to help the church prayerfully discern and develop its own vision, mission, and strategy for disciple-making and becoming a parent church.
The hopeful return on investment with coaching is depth of appropriate support and challenge, collaboration – sharing best practices in real-life situations, and accountability for obtaining results. We hope to see an increased number of IBC leaders leading their church to plant churches and an increased number of IBC leaders partnering with other churches to plant churches.
Apprenticeship appears to be practically a lost art in most places. Once upon a time it was the norm for training almost everyone. Apprenticeship is the intentional transfer of knowledge, skills, and expertise into an individual or select few. To apprentice is to invest long term in another person who has potential, capacity, and desire to replicate skills and competencies. It takes significant commitment on both sides.
Our fourth strategic objective in multiplying churches is to apprentice a select few leaders onto our Church Multiplication Leadership Team (CMLT) for long-term church multiplication direction for the IBC. We’re looking to identify leaders who show a passion for church planting and desire to serve in convention leadership. We intend to apprentice one leader on the CMLT to co-direct the IBC’s church multiplication strategy
The hopeful return on investment with apprenticeship is capacity raised up in others, scalability allowing the organization to grow, and influence expanding.
Here’s a closing thought. In addition to this intentional multiplication approach applied to our IBC family-wide church planting efforts, how might intentional multiplication impact your church’s ministries, your disciple-making efforts, and your leadership development?
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” (Ephesians 5:15)
Darryl Evetts, Multiplying Churches Core Strategy Director
Source credit for Intentional Multiplication: www.giantworldwide.com