The Ralph Moore Podcast

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Maximizing Everything God Gave You

Ep. 5002

INTRODUCTION TO CHURCH MULTIPLICATION—Ralph Moore

“He maximized all he had!”

 These are the words I want to see on my tombstone. Every one of us hopes that we will someday hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” For me, getting there means leveraging every one of my spiritual gifts, skills and resources for the Kingdom of God.

If you’re reading this, I bet you feel the same way.

IN THIS SESSION I’LL TEACH YOU

I’m hoping to help you along your way. My purpose is to help you satisfy both the investments and callings that God put in you. I want you to die happy, knowing you did all you could with what you had.


What would it take for you to be part of God’s work in bringing a million people to faith in Jesus Christ?

                

                230,000 total estimated people in church while I never pastored more than 2,000 people.

               Direct Disciplemaking

               Church of less than 100 magnified by multiplication–teaching disciples to make disciples.

THREE ASSUMPTIONS

Let’s start with three assumptions that might help move us along a natural pathway from mega to multisite to multiplication. They show that repeating the forms of the recent past will only hinder the kind of multiplication enjoyed by the first century church. Understanding these assumptions will help us build new forms of ministry that better service the function of the Great Commission.

Assumption 1: Most megachurch pastors are apostolic (e.g. pioneering, entrepreneurial, activators, etc.), but not all apostolic pastors lead megachurches. You may be apostolic and lead a smaller (MORE NORMAL-SIZE) congregation.

Assumption 2: You don’t need to lead a large church to make a large impact.

               Barnabas/Antioch/Paul/John Mark

Assumption 3: Every church contains the DNA for a movement.

·        Churches around the world have morphed from single congregations into fast-growing movements. This is the history of Europe dating back to Barnabas, Paul and the folks in Antioch.

·        Most American denominations got their start in the same way. The Methodist movement traces its strength back to Francis Asbury.

Baptists became the largest segment of American Christianity by rapid church multiplication, spawned from local churches.

·        Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa, California)

·        The Vineyard (Yorba Linda, California)

·        Hope Chapel (Hermosa Beach, California)

. Calvary, The Vineyard and Hope Chapel all morphed into movements (chronicled by University of Southern California professor Donald Miller in his book, Reinventing American Protestantism).

The key is leadership. If you’re dissatisfied with the status quo, you are a potential catalyzing movement maker. My goal is to get you there.


Assumption 4: EVERY church should multiply.

The rise of the American megachurch is both inspiring and disappointing.

The megachurch movement in the US is a recent phenomenon, dating back to the 1970s. The number of these churches has grown quickly, and they are effective in evangelism. Their rise is positive, but congregations exceeding 1,000 members still account for only about 10 percent of all evangelical churchgoers. We cannot expect them to shoulder the load of cultural change alone.

Megachurches grow faster than mid-size or smaller congregations but that does not make them better. In fact, smaller congregations are better at evangelism and disciplemaking. Their relative poverty and/or isolation forces them to be more relational.

PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER

Pulling together the above assumptions points to a singular problem: Our focus on building bigger, addition focused “come and see” churches, without a balanced “go and be” dimension, does inhibit most pastors from experiencing multiplication.

Our forms tend to restrict the methods Jesus gave to us for accomplishing the Great Commission. The Great Commission remains unfulfilled as potentially apostolic leaders focus on single congregations (large and small) instead of multiplying in other locations and few local churches reach the potential that lies dormant within them. We need new scorecards for success that will allow us to embrace new wineskins for action.

Multiplication then appears more complicated and inaccessible because our addition paradigms get in the way.

But what about you? If you enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe. You may also want to connect via www.ralphmoore.net and wordofhope.online .To read more about the Hope Chapel churches, check www.hopechapelchurches.com.



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1/24/2020

Small Place Church Planting Opportunities

Season 2, Ep. 5020
Small Place Church Planting Opportunities Church planting in small places is a new concept for me. I’ve done it for years, but somehow missed the grand opportunity and huge need that it represents.Think of urban neighborhoods and towns of fewer than 15,000 people as small places. Add the 5 million, or so, people who live an entirely rural lifestyle and the numbers are huge. Thankfully, there is a renewed focus on urban areas in the U.S. Lets talk about the 60 to 90 million people living in small towns and rural areas. The numbers vary depending on who is measuring. It’s 60 million if you look at towns smaller than 15,000 and 90 million if you think a community becomes large if it boasts more than 25,000 people. This represents a wonderful opportunity for the gospel. Everyone knows that the United States is currently the third largest mission field in the world. North America is the only continent where the church is shrinking while it grows everywhere else. Not everyone knows that 90 million people would represent the 13th largest country in the world if they were their own nation, or that these people are seriously underserved by the church. We need to think missionally toward rural and small-town America. They constitute nearly 25 percent of our entire population.Rural/Small-Town America is Growing And the opportunities are growing. Rural America lost population in the 1980s, only to reverse the process beginning in the 1990s and continuing to the present. Millions of people flee mostly the suburban commuter lifestyle to live in smaller places each year. This is different from the nasty “white flight” of a generation ago. People of all socio-economic backgrounds now make the trek. They bring with them their high-tech industrial parks, brew pubs and upscale coffee shops. What’s lacking are new churches to go with the migration. And its not just the new arrivals who need new churches. Churches across America are closing their doors. Older churches are dying faster than newer ones and the mainline denominations shrink the fastest. The unique combination of older mainline congregations that were once foundational to small communities is going away and going that way faster than churches in the suburbs. We need to replace the dying churches by planting new congregations. But replacement alone won’t touch the opportunity or the need. The 13th largest mission field in the world awaits us. The same logic holds for most urban neighborhoods.This is SignificantIn the 1970s more than 90 percent of Americans called themselves Christian of one stripe or another. Today, according to Pew Research, that number has fallen to just 71 percent. In the early 70s, 53 percent said they attend church at least once each month. In the early 2010s that number has fallen to 43 percent. Of those who say they attend on a regular basis, the 1970s tally was 38 percent. Today it has fallen to 28 percent. We are losing ground.When you consider that these numbers are magnified in smaller communities you realize there is a massive mission field that is white unto harvest and awaiting our attention.Seeing the Culture Through A Different LensI spent most of my years pastoring suburban churches. The last congregation was on the edge of an urban area of Honolulu. Things were different there. We had to plant “homegroups” in food courts and coffee shops because of unavailable parking near urban apartments. I came to realize that I unintentionally saw the world through an “us-them” paradigm. We in the suburbs got things right while urban dwellers didn’t quite get it. I simply didn’t understand the differences in needs and opportunities. Now I understand that the same is true of my understanding of rural/small-town America. This has been a good wakeup for me. Question: “Are you thinking about ‘us’ or thinking about getting the gospel to ‘them?’” Do you think “Come to my church?” or “How can we get the gospel into every corner of our land?”A Question for YouI recently discovered something which Jesus said that I had overlooked, “Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (Mark 1:38, NIV). In referencing villages, he said, “That is why I have come.” I get it that he’s not only interested in the villages, but I have not been interested in them at all. Question: “Do you believe small towns are central to God’s plan for the church?”