Multiplication Movements, by their very nature, recognize that we are not competing with one another, but we are united against a common enemy. For multiplication movements to thrive, people need to be connected and in relationship with one another – communicating, exchanging ideas, and challenging one another to build the Kingdom of God. Networks are an outcome of a Shared Vision and will strengthen the movement’s overall cohesiveness.
Groups requiring networks include (at a minimum) planters, coaches, and parent church pastors. Special needs networks may include others like planters’ spouses, trainers, intercessors, etc. Ask yourself what groups involved in the multiplication movement might benefit from participating in a network of like-minded people. Establishing and maintaining these networks is essential to the effectiveness and functionality of a church multiplication movement. If the individual pieces don’t work, the overall system won’t work.
Networks for different groups will of course look and function differently. Planter networks may need to have frequent contact, while parent church pastor networks may not need to meet as often. Networks for planters’ spouses may be more relationally support-based in nature, while coach networks may focus more on accountability and ongoing training. The success of a given network depends on whether it accurately discerns and meets the needs of the group it serves – and that will vary from group to group and movement to movement.
One of the most critical networks for any church multiplication movement is the network for planters. Here a group of planters and their coaches meet on a monthly basis to provide supportive, peer-coaching relationships. These meetings often take the form of ongoing skill training, trouble-shooting, and implementation planning. In some cases, parent church pastors are involved as well. These networks create good, safe environments to bounce ideas off one another and give and receive feedback.
The title Multiplying Networks is also intentional. Networks not only support church multiplication movements, they are an organic, intrinsic part of them. They are designed to multiply along with the rest of the movement. Planter networks should multiply to create more planter networks. Parent church pastor networks should multiply to create more parent church pastor networks, etc.
To ensure Multiplying Networks is an intentional process, there is a need to:
- Identify groups that could benefit from being in a network.
- Create/implement a process to organise these networks.
- Develop materials that need to be covered in networks.
- Identify, train and provide support for network facilitators.
- Implement a strategy for multiplying networks.
- Encourage the members of networks to consider leading a new network.
- Ensure networks are monitored for their effectiveness
For further insights into these elements, check out the other articles in this section of the Blog.
Would you like to know more? Download the free booklet on Multiplying Networks click here