Worth Reading: How To Multiply Your Church by Ralph Moore
“The world is multiplying while the church adds (at best).” Ralph Moore in How to Multiply Your Church: The Best Way to Grow
Confession: I day dream about being caught up in a movement that would bring Great Awakening like transformation to my community, country, and world. I believe the concept of saturation church planting and evangelism is a path to take to this end. This book is now one of my favs (along with Viral Churches by Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird, The Multiplying Church by Bob Roberts, Deliberate Simplicity by Dave Browning, and Church Planting Movements by David Garrison) on this topic. Really not a whole lot of how to, but more motivation to get out there and do it. And that’s kinda the point we’re at in the history of Christianity. We’ve focused so much on how to and not enough on true reproduction that we are well behind when it comes to keeping up with evangelizing the world’s population. For instance, Moore states early in the book, “The # of protestant megachurches has mushroomed from 16 in 1960 to 1,210 by 1995. The population quadrupled since 1900, while the number of churches has grown by a mere 50%. In other words, the population grew 8x as fast as churches could multiply.” Ralph Moore speaks as a practicioner and coach. Here’s some of my favorite quotes:
- We need to overcome the peaceful isolation of our comfortable campuses. A missional church invades and permeates. The operative term is “Go,” not, “Come.”
- Reproduction abilities represent a sign of maturity in living organisms. They also represent the only way to preserve the species over time. Multiplication of the Church not only engenders greater evangelistic results but also ensures the survival of Christianity in our culture.
- I believe a stalled congregation can nearly always grow its way back to momentum by preparing for and launching a new church. The process is invigorating.
- An equipping church leads every member to live as a missionary, at home and on the road, in God’s great invasion force.
- Current church culture rewards a spectator’s environment and has proven capable of raising large crowds while the surrounding world disintegrates.
- It is hard to imagine John saying, “Repent and go to 12 weeks of confirmation before you can be baptized for your sins.” There is a healthy immediacy to the NT movers that we lack today. Ministry must be left in the hands of the Holy Spirit. While we run sanitary operations, He brings victory out of apparent disorder. While we are unwilling to take risks, He demands faith.
- Movements are dynamic and sloppy. They are alive, not static. Difficult to contain, they prefer pragmatism and innovation to institutions and traditions. They seek to inspire and empower rather than control people. Movements esteem teamwork and ordinary “heroes” above superheroes.