Church Plants Multiplying Early

Episode 630: When should a church plant set its sights on planting a daughter church?  Co-hosts Ed Stetzer and Dhati Lewis discuss the problems of planting too early and the importance of “planting pregnant.”

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • When the best time might be to plant your daughter church
  • What it means to “plant pregnant”
  • How Send Network’s new resources can make church planting easier
  • The four steps from being a church plant to becoming a multiplying church
  • Where the next generation of church planters is likely to come from
  • How a new church can start prioritizing financially for church planting
  • How to respond to the relational pain experienced by church planting teams

Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

I wanted to be the last generation to leave the urban context for sound discipleship. I’m committed to raising up urban leaders in majority-minority, multi-ethnic spaces – which is another way of saying “urban.” That’s what North America is in all cities and what North America will be in 2040. @DhatiLewis

People ask me, “When is the time to plant our daughter church?” The rule of thumb has always sort of been that if you don’t do it within three years, you’ll never do it. Sometimes you heard people say, “Let’s get involved earlier, like in the first year.” @EdStetzer

One of the things we’ve intentionally done in Send Network is having people thinking that they need to “plant pregnant” – planting together with the understanding that one of your team members is coming in to be going out. So they plant with that DNA. @DhatiLewis

I have seen people with the “three years” multiplication mindset go in and plant healthily, and I’ve seen them, unhealthily at times, trying to plant whether they’re ready or not. @DhatiLewis

There’s lots of pain that comes from planting when you aren’t ready. You experience a lot of pain and trauma as a church, and you give some to the church plants, because they were expecting something from us that they didn’t get because we were still trying to take care of ourselves. @DhatiLewis

I wish I knew then what I know now. A plant needs certain things from the sender. You think that would be intuitive because you just went through the process, but when you’re looking at it from the other lens, you just don’t know you can’t provide it. @DhatiLewis

I’m really excited that Send Network is creating resources for sending churches. If we had what we’re giving now, it would have been a lot different for us. I still would have done it, but I would have done it a lot differently. There was some pain we didn’t have to experience. @DhatiLewis

I’ve encouraged church planters to say that from Year 1, they’re going to be involved in a church plant, but depending on how Year 1 goes, that church plant involvement could look different. Perhaps you partner in Year 1 and Year 2, and then mother by the time you get to Year 3. @EdStetzer

In Send Network, we that we believe every Send Network church is a multiplying church in the making. The question I like for us to think about is what is the easy, obvious and strategic next step to becoming a multiplying church? @DhatiLewis

You become a multiplying church once you’re discovering, developing and deploying people from within. What we try to do is give people exposure, get the congregation thinking beyond themselves. @DhatiLewis

We immediately try to get a church plant to become a supporting church – praying, participating or partnering. A supporting church becomes a sending church when you’ve helped someone discover their calling and go through training. The multiplying church has developed a system to discover, develop and deploy. @DhatiLewis

Everybody’s looking for that already discipled, already trained person to send out, and that well is running a lot drier. The next generation of church planters are either not saved in your neighborhood or they’re currently in your pews. @DhatiLewis

There are so many things I would do differently in planting churches, knowing now what I do, but that’s why I’m passionate about helping other churches to not have to face the pain we did. @DhatiLewis

Get involved early and often in church planting. While that’s going to look different in different contexts, some can go too early but most take too long. @EdStetzer

People early on need to be accustomed to the fact that you’re a church-planting church. It sets that agenda, you look for those opportunities, you raise up those leaders who are going to go out and make a difference. @EdStetzer

Helpful Resources:

Interested in learning more? Check out our Church Planting Primer

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Among Wolves: Disciple-Making in the City

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Published January 6, 2022

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