multiply

multiplyDid you know that 75% of Americans are within three miles of a McDonalds?  80% are within five miles of a YMCA.  68% are within five minutes of a Redbox kiosk.  It’s called franchising, and it’s the most powerful leverage tool in business.

It is also called multiplying, and it is the basic strategy taught by Jesus.  Do you ever think about multiplying your faith?

The Bible calls this “discipling”.  Jesus preached to large crowds, but spent most of His time with twelve ordinary guys.  It seems like a strange way to launch the greatest movement in history.  This is the basic building block for the Christian church.  Why don’t many Christians get it?

Many Christians seem to think reaching people is the pastor’s responsibility.  Others believe it’s the work of the “evangelism committee.”  God’s plan is for all to share “God stories” (what God has done in your life) with those in their social networks who are not yet people of faith.

As churches grow, some add a second worship service.  That too is multiplication.  When churches add services they add an outreach element as well.  Most churches actually grow, in total numbers, when they add another service.  Why?  They provide a choice in time.  Some churches offer a choice in days as well.  This concept recognizes different lifestyles and work routines.  It is why Wal-Mart is open almost all the time, and their parking lot has cars in it at 10:00 pm.

Multiplication increases outreach when you offer different styles of worship.  Some like traditional hymns.  For others, their music preference is guitars, keyboards and drums.  There are numerous styles of worship, even in other languages.

Multiplication of impact for churches explodes exponentially with geographical distribution.  This is why, historically, growing churches often “plant” new churches in other areas, a form of “spiritual franchising.”  This is not only for convenience.  It increases visibility.  Even more: some people, new to the faith or searching, are hesitant to walk into a large, “imposing” building.  They feel less intimidated attending a church in a smaller building, like a storefront.  For those who are unchurched, extending your ministry into a marketplace setting, (like a strip mall), makes it even easier for some to “give it a try.”

Many of the fastest growing churches in the U.S. today are multiplying their locations. Some are using electronic ways to bring the preaching message, by video.  For many Christians, it seems impossible that people searching for faith would watch the sermon on a screen.  However, today, people spend much of their time in front of screens.  These churches provide greeters, worship leaders and Sunday school teachers to extend a personal touch.

In all these ways, multiplication works for churches like franchising does for businesses.

How can you multiply your church? We welcome your comments below.

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.

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