Mobilising Church Planters
According to Jesus, the number one limiting factor in reaching the harvest is workers. In Matt: 9, Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”. So how do we overcome this limiting factor?
The first thing we do is ask God. James tells us that sometimes we don’t receive because we don’t ask. (James. 4:2). Since praying for workers is one of those prayers that we know for certain God will answer, we can pray with faith and confidence. Whenever people start seriously praying this prayer, God begins raising up people to be involved in church multiplication in one form or another. If we don’t have enough workers, is it because we are not praying? If we are not praying, is it because we don’t care about the harvest? The context of the story in Mathew 9 is this: Jesus saw the people, felt compassion, and asked the Lord for workers. There’s a direct linkage between the compassion we feel in our hearts and our motivation to plead with God for the necessary workers.
Then secondly, flowing from that compassion and those prayers we take the action necessary to raise up workers. Not surprisingly, a successful multiplication movement requires many workers. So given our particular planting goals and circumstances – how many workers will we need? What kind of workers? To effectively mobilise and develop church planters and other workers for a multiplication movement, a movement needs to make itself, its vision, and its process as attractive as possible to potential planters.
At the beginning of a church multiplication movement, ministries try to recruit proven church planters with solid track records of being able to catch a vision and carry it out. The stronger the start you get, the more momentum you’ll have. That said, recruitment of current capable planters must coincide with the development of future leaders. Investment in future planters and other leaders is critical to long-term success. Think of recruiting leaders as addition and developing leaders as multiplication. Without new, developing leaders, a movement will quickly use up all experienced leaders and will be unable to grow beyond addition to multiplication.
Developing and empowering new leaders is the long-range solution – it’s the only way to increase ministry capacity. Although there will be an initial delay – where recruitment is necessary – developing and mobilising new leaders avoids leader shortages, the number one blockage identified by Jesus (Matt. 9:37-38). If we invest in development, rather than just recruitment, the supply of leaders is limitless.
To develop an Attracting & Mobilising process, here are some of the areas that you need to consider:
- Determine the number of planters needed for the next 3 to 5 years
- Consider a number of possible methods for attracting planters
- Brainstorm potential blockages to attracting planters and consider ways of overcoming them
- Brainstorm positive attributes of the movement that will attract planters
- Create a strategy for becoming more attractive to planters
- Produce resources, tools and materials that can be offered to planters
- Implement an intercession process for new church planters
For further insights into the elements of a Multiplication Movement check out the other articles in this section of the Blog.
Would you like to know more? Download the free booklet on Mobilising Church Planters click here