By: photosteve101

Nine out of 10 new businesses fail. However, 99.5% of franchises succeed. What does that mean for the church?

God’s plan for the growth of the church is multiplication. The concept is disciplining. This disciplining is a quiet but powerful way to impact the world. As you disciple, you are replicating spiritual DNA: values, beliefs, attitudes, and worldviews. It’s a successful way to multiply yourself.

The same dynamics work with the body of Christ. I have observed three levels of multiplication. Multiplication 1.0 is the old method. It is when your church sends money to a denomination to plant churches. There is little connection. There are many failures. Multiplication 2.0 happens when churches are encouraged to start daughter congregations. They pay the bills for awhile. This is more effective, but, there are still many causalities. In the last several years, I have observed the emergence of Multiplication 3.0. This is when a church extends itself in the community with the same DNA. There are few causalities. It is the least expensive. This is franchising.

How does it work? The church provides worship venues off-campus, with infinite possibilities of styles. Worship and leadership teams are developed. A volunteer leader oversees the ministry effort. There are volunteer Sunday school teachers, greeters, and follow-up for visitors. The venue is borrowed or rented. How do you provide the sermon? The message is brought by DVD, projected on screen. People today watch screens and don’t mind the message multiplied through technology.

A similar model can be used to multiply a ministry. A church I consulted in Visalia, California has a great preschool with limited space. I recommended they franchise their preschool, using rented space in a shopping mall. A church in Archibald, Ohio didn’t have room for the youth and rented a warehouse. These off-campus sites actually enhance Gospel penetration in the community on “neutral” ground.

Focus on these issues:

  1. When unchurched peopled are reached at a neutral site, they are more likely to attend.
  2. Every syndicated theater corporation in the U.S. has a department dedicated to renting space to churches for worship on Sunday mornings.
  3. A key in our secular society is to engage the culture. The Great Commission says “go” make disciples. Don’t require them to come to you.
  4. Franchising allows you to keep the DNA of your church.
  5. Franchising is the least expensive way to multiply your ministry.
  6. People today readily accept receiving a message on a screen; they have spent the last several decades looking at one, at their television, in theaters, and their computer.

God said, be fruitful and multiply. With technology, we have opportunities at a whole new level. Engage your community!

How has your church multiplied? 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

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