To be healthy and thriving, a church needs to be multiplying. When we started Multiply Illinois, the concept was to help churches plant new churches. But multiplying is about more than just starting churches, it’s about replicating at all levels.
Eventually, the goal is to replicate the church, but it starts with replicating the positive things God has done in our individual lives, as well as those things God has done in the life of our church. If we’re going to be strong, vibrant churches, we need to be multiplying!
Jesus called his disciples to himself and said, “I will make you fishers of men.” His intent wasn’t that they would just make one person a follower of Christ or take one next step. Jesus was starting an ongoing replicating movement. We need to follow Jesus ourselves, but we also need to be making followers of Jesus who will in turn make followers of Jesus, who will make followers of Jesus.
But as that concept moves into the church environment, we need to be multiplying small groups and Sunday school classes that will meet needs and grow people. As we help to mature people, they will reach more people.
This kind of multiplying requires developing more leaders. With more leaders you can multiply services, campuses, and ultimately churches.
As we look at the Book of Acts, that’s the history of a multiplying movement that Jesus set into motion. Our Multiply Illinois regional hubs are designed to help pastors, leaders, and churches accelerate and fan what Jesus started.
Starting in 2024, our Multiply Hubs will bring pastors and church leaders together to help create a multiply mindset. We will first offer times of encouragement, inspiration, motivation, and challenge, starting with a joint session with everyone together.
Then second, there will be time for breakouts on various topics related to the key pillars of the church. A multiplying mindset will focus on prayer, evangelism, and maintaining an outward focus.
A third component will gather four to six leaders for transformational groups. They will discuss what they’ve heard, and help each other identify “one thing” they will commit to doing to get this multiply process moving. All too often, we go to conferences and learn great things, but then we do nothing with them when we get home.
In the spirit of iron sharpening iron, other leaders in similar ministry situations can help hold each other accountable. When the Multiply Hub meets again the next quarter, pastors and leaders can share what they did and how it’s going.
We will have hubs in four regions starting in at the end of February and throughout the month of March. Pastors, staff, and volunteers in many ministries will be welcome, as will women leaders. In each Hub, we will repeat the process: identify what you’ve learned, ask what God is doing in your life, and say what you’re going to do with it.
– Paul Westbrook is Associate Executive Director for IBSA’s Health, Growth, and Mission Teams.