by Kris Dillingham
1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Prayer
I know…that’s not exactly ground-breaking information, but it needs to be stated. Over and over again! I am convinced that the journey to true multiplication revival must begin, not in a planning session, but in the prayer closet. If not, we can easily become enamored with church growth “silver bullets” that usually lead to more frustration. In prayer, our motives are purified, our resolve is strengthened, divine wisdom is given, burden/passion is stoked, and God’s power is bestowed.
2. It’s About Principles, Not Programs
Literally millions of dollars are spent every year on the latest, greatest church growth programs, seminars and books. The problem with “Do church this way” programs is that it does not take into account so many variables that potentially play a huge role in what we would call success. In my experience, I have learned that the principles of multiplication are more important than the programs. If we can master the principles that have been tested since the Book of Acts church, multiplication will naturally be the end result.
3. Change is Hard
I am sure that you have, at some point, used the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The truth is that change is necessary. But it’s also hard. Very hard. Extremely hard. Crazy hard. I think you get the point. The people that we are leading are not necessarily against what we feel like God wants to do, as much as they feel the fear of the unknown. Our job as leaders is to demonstrate to those we are leading that the change that is required is born out of prayer, does not contradict the Word of God, and is for the purpose of reaching our world. Unfortunately, there still may be some who are unwilling or unable to go where God is leading, and that is okay. As a leader, we must remain true to the value system of the kingdom and accept whatever challenges come as a result.
4. Defining the “Win” Is Key
The truth is we all put our time and energy to what we truly define as success. For most of us pastors, that can be summed up in the 3 B’s: butts, budgets, and buildings. Or better stated, how many people attend our service(s), how much money the church brought in, and what kind of facilities we have. And therefore, we spend the majority of our time and resources on these areas. For me, I had to change what I viewed as the win. I want people to attend our services, but I am more concerned about getting people to live every day on mission where they live, work, and play. Instead of seating capacity, our priority has become sending capacity. Instead of building a “megachurch,” our win is sending church plants/microchurches in to every neighborhood or community in our city. My prayer is that our “win” matches up with the “win” of the kingdom, and if it does not, I need to repent and change.