Church Multiplication vs. Church Planting

When talking about planting new churches, I prefer the term church multiplication. Why? Most churches lack margin and without margin financially and with volunteers, they don’t believe that they can plant another church. It’s an option for one day IF we are able. But multiplication is a must for every church and a path to every church getting healthy and getting involved in planting new churches. Every church, to be healthy, MUST multiply. We must multiply ON-CAMPUS through new disciples, servant-leaders, groups, and ministries. Then multiplication in a healthy church WILL move OFF-CAMPUS through multiplication of ministries, outreach events, missions partnerships, AND new congregations in some form.

Start multiplying and you WILL BE a church planting church.

How do we get started?

  • Multiply New Disciples by sharing the gospel and bringing new people into the kingdom. Train your church in personal evangelism and lead them to see their community as a mission field.
  • Multiply New Servant-leaders by having a monthly leadership development round table for existing and potential leaders. Begin a mentoring relationship with teachable and hungry disciples.
  • Multiply New Ministries by looking at the needs in the body that are currently not being met and commission a leader or team to tackle the need.
  • Multiply Off-Campus Ministries and Outreaches by asking the question “Where is the church not?” Look for opportunities like local multi-housing communities, local nursing homes, local compassion oriented agencies, etc.
  • Multiply Mission Partnerships by planning an annual mission trip, a vision tour to an underserved part of your state or region, co-sponsoring a new church in your area or state, etc.

Multiplying at these levels will lead to growth, health, and the hunger to keep the multiplication going at every level, including new communities where a church or campus may be needed.

Get in touch:

lane.corley@louisianabaptists.org – if you need to help with ideas and scenarios for multiplying your church or if you’d like to network with other multiplying churches in your area. Connect with our Louisiana Baptists Multiplication Network for events to help you work on strategy and systems for healthy multiplication. Attend one of our upcoming Multiplication Ready or RePlant Ready Events in 2019 for more info and ideas.

Thank You!

I enjoy receiving thank you notes. God uses these unexpected words of appreciation to bless and encourage me.

With that in mind, allow me to say, “Thank you!” on behalf of those you’ve blessed through your faithful giving through the Cooperative Program.

  • On behalf of the church planter who stepped out on faith and sacrificed to follow God’s call to start a new work, thank you.
  • On behalf of the college student who is enjoying Christian fellowship, discipleship and encouragement through one of the 28 BCM’s across the state, thank you.
  • On behalf of the pastor and his family who are receiving godly Christian counsel to help them through a rough season in their lives, thank you.
  • On behalf the Sunday School teachers/leaders who received training to help them use their spiritual gift to build their local church, thank you.
  • On behalf of the thousands of students who heard the Gospel and were challenged to be salt and light on their school campuses during YEC, thank you.
  • On behalf of the non-churched person who had the truth of God’s word seeded in their heart and home through our Here for You media outreach, thank you.
  • On behalf of the special needs families who attended the first-ever special needs camp in the state and, for the first time, felt like they belonged, thank you.

Time, nor space, permit me to say, “Thank you!” from everyone you’ve touched – but isn’t that the idea of the Cooperative Program – to combine our prayers and our resources to accomplish what cannot be accomplished otherwise?

Thank you for giving and reaching beyond your walls for the sake of the Gospel.

The Power of the Regift!

We’re already well into the New Year and you may not have done so yet, but sometime this year you probably will.

I’m not talking about exercising or dieting. I’m referring to regifting.

Apparently regifting has become commonplace. According to Wikipedia, the term became popular when it was introduced on the 80’s sitcom Seinfeld. There are even rules or etiquette related to regifting and you can discover them in The Art of Regifting, Regifting 101 and 12 Rules for Regifting Without Fear. Some environmentally and budgetary conscious people consider regifting a “green” practice. There is even a National Regifting Day which falls the Thursday before Christmas. Talk about perfect timing. Who needs Amazon when you can simply regift!

Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus commanded us to regift? He has gifted us and because of His love for all people, He wants us to share the gift of spiritual transformation and rebirth everywhere we go.

Jesus said as we’ve freely received, we should freely give. Paul challenged Timothy to pass along the things/teachings he received to faithful men who in turn would do the same. James reminds us that every good and perfect gift is from above. And Peter exhorted his readers to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you. In other words – be prepared to regift what you’ve been gifted with – hope!

There are two gifts that we desperately need to regift. The first is truth. The absence of truth in our culture is stunning. Rarely has there been so much information and knowledge but so little truth. Jesus reminds us that God’s word is truth (John 17). So, when you share God’s word with someone, you’re sharing truth. You’re regifting, if you will, the truth you’ve experienced.

Eternal Life is the other gift that needs to be regifted whenever and wherever we have the opportunity. Eternal life is not ours to give, it comes from God (Romans 6:23); but, it is ours to share. If receiving the gift of eternal life is all there is to our journey, then our life after rebirth would be rather pointless. We are still on this earth to share, to regift, what Jesus died to purchase – eternal life and all that accompanies it: forgiveness, peace, hope, comfort and so much more.

Here for You is all about regifting. In fact, Here for You actually delivers God’s gift of truth. We are delivering it to hearts and homes across Louisiana using current communications platforms. We regift truth so we can encourage those viewing the messages to receive God’s gift of eternal life.

How can you get in on this regifting?

  1. Realize the gift inside of you was never intended to stay there. God is not into hoarding. He’s into sharing. He wants you to regift what you’ve been gifted with through His Holy Spirit.
  2. Repent. This means to turn around and start doing what you’re currently not doing. I believe if more Christians would repent, we’d see more non-Christians do the same. If you’ve received God’s gift of eternal life and you’re not sharing it, you need to repent of your sin of omission (James 4:17) and start regifting what you’ve been gifted with.
  3. Restart your efforts. Odds are when you first experienced God’s grace, His gift of eternal life, you told someone. You shared it. I would suggest that when you did that, you regifted. God brought someone to mind who needed the same gift you just received. But over time you began to keep the gift to yourself. Oh, you’re grateful for it, you just stopped sharing it. Jesus told the church in Ephesus to go back and do the things they did at first (Rev 2:5). We need to do the same.

We have a simple way you can regift! Go to hereforyou.org and share the videos on your social media platforms. As you share these messages, you’re regifting God’s truth to all your friends, family and others who view your posts.

Some gifts are meant to keep, to cherish. Others are intended to be shared. I believe people are waiting for us to regift what we’ve received from God. The gifts they’re receiving from the world are perishing and unfulfilling. But the gifts God gives us to regift can meet the deepest longings of their heart.

2019 ECON Recap

ECON 2019 compelled a large gathering of Louisiana Baptists to share Jesus and develop a strategy to do just that. Thanks to your gifts through the Cooperative Program, we were able to bring presenters from across the United States to inspire us to dream once again about what God could do in and through churches.

And now you can:

  • Experience it if you weren’t able to attend.
  • Experience it once again if you were there. And share with others.
  • Use these sessions in church leadership meetings. They’re great content to train and inspire your people.

These videos are your content because of your gifts through the Cooperative Program. They are downloadable and open to everyone. (Scroll to bottom of page for downloads)

Downloads:

View Lee Strobel’s message in it’s entirety by clicking here.

Is My Church Multiplication Ready?

The Louisiana Baptists Missions and Ministry Team is making our final push toward the goal of planting 300 new churches 2020. Since 2010, our convention has worked together to plant 235 new churches! The result has been over 13,000 new commitments to Christ! and many new fronts opened up for meeting spiritual and physical needs across our state. While every Southern Baptist church is invested in church planting through giving to the Cooperative Program and our State, National, and International Missions Offerings, only around 280 churches in Louisiana (out of 1,624) have taken the next step and gotten involved in direct MULTIPLICATION through sending people, direct financial sponsorship, or starting a new campus or location.

As we make this final push to 300 new churches, we want to invite you to explore your church’s multiplication readiness. We will have a series of luncheons across the state this year that will help you see the possibilities of and opportunities for multiplication for your church. Every church CAN get involved in Church Planting Multiplication!

Why Should Multiplication Readiness Concern Me and My Church? Three Reasons:

  1. Readiness to Multiply is a Mark of Health and Maturity. Healthy churches generally are multiplying churches. Healthy churches multiply new disciples, new leaders, new groups, new ministries, etc.,etc. As the multiplication train gets rolling, it is often the case that God moves His people to look to a neighboring community or people group in need to multiply the gospel to. Is it time for your church to consider a multiplication project? Or is it time to explore why your church is not seeing greater multiplication inside? How do we get started? What resources are available? Join us for one of our Multiplication Ready luncheons to explore these questions.
  2. Healthy Church Multiplication requires Healthy Sending or Sponsor or Parent Churches. As Bob Roberts says in his great book The Multiplying Church, “The future of faith in America (and anywhere in the world, for that matter) is not tied to planting more churches, but in raising up of mother congregations of every tribe, tongue, denomination, and network that are reproducing… The hope is in pregnant mother churches.” The healthiest new churches often come from mother churches that are reproducing and multiplying in all aspects, spilling over into new communities and people groups through church planting and evangelism.
  3. Reaching our state and our nation is more than just one church can accomplish. Across Louisiana, church attendance is in decline. In almost every association, less than 10% of the population are in attendance in a Southern Baptist Church on any given weekend. The number of unchurched and dechurched people is climbing. To reach new generations of people, new fronts must be opened against lostness. Church Planting and Multiplication has proven to be a great tool in reaching people in Louisiana and beyond. 13,000 and counting have responded to the gospel through one of our 235 new churches. Imagine the possibilities as we continue to multiply through 2020 and beyond.

Explore the possibilities, available resources, and current opportunities with your Louisiana Baptists Missions and Ministries team this year as we make our final push to 300 new churches by 2020.

Four Biblical Resolutions for 2019

The Bible is full of resolutions. Our reading of the Bible should be to see the gaps between ourselves and God’s will and close that gap with resolve. The difference between worldly resolution and Biblical resolution is that as believers we have the promise of God’s presence with us to empower and encourage us as we resolve to walk with him. So let’s be resolute in 2019. Here are four Biblical Resolutions in way of reminder and challenge.

  1. Devote yourselves to Prayer… Colossians 4:2

Prayer works every time it is tried. God promises to hear and to answer the praying believer, who prays in faith (Matthew 7:7; James 1:5-8; 1 John 5:14-15). Resolve to be a person of prayer in 2019. 

Ideas:

  1. Every man mature in Christ – Colossians 1:28-29

The resolve of the apostle Paul was to move EVERY PERSON in his sphere of influence closer to Christ. What a resolution!? Our influence as believers is currently limited by our vision and our lips. Resolve to see every person in relation to eternity and communicate God’s Gospel truth in practical ways in 2019. 

Ideas:

  1. Exercise is of some value – 1 Timothy 4:8

In most of us, a new year brings a desire to make changes. Gym memberships increase by about 12% every January. While we do not all need to be Iron Men, we should recognize the secondary value (next to godliness) of maintaining and/or improving our physical condition as a steward of God and faithful witness until our last breath. Resolve to improve and/or maintain your physical condition for stewardship and witness in 2019.

Ideas:

  • Walk. This is a great way to combine #1, #2, and #3. Walk your neighborhood and pray for each home and look for opportunities to build new relationships.
  • Try a 21 Day Fast as a way to reset your prayer life and dietary life.
  • Join a gym and/or fitness class as a way to get in better condition and build new relationships in the community.
  1. We will tell the next generation – Psalm 78:4

The next generation is to be a priority for disciples of Christ (Deuteronomy 6:6-8; Psalm 78:1-4). Parents and Grandparents have a built in reminder of their duty and priority. But we mustn’t stop there. With Christianity in decline, we need all hands on deck to make sure every child hears of God’s love in Christ for them. Resolve to pass on your faith to someone younger than you in 2019. 

Ideas:

  • If you’re a parent, commit to a family meal time each week where you share a devotional and pray for and with one another.
  • Sign up to volunteer in the children’s ministry of a local church.
  • Look for opportunities to volunteer at a local school or mentoring program.
  • Ask God to show you a child at your church or in your neighborhood that needs an encouraging word.

What are some other Biblical Resolutions that we can resolve to pursue in 2019? 

Pump Up Your Social Media

It’s difficult to navigate the digital landscape without understanding social media. Facebook currently has over 2.2 billion monthly users. That’s the population of China and India combined! However, newer platforms are emerging and pushing their way into competition with Facebook. With an expanding range of options, algorithms, and metrics, making your way through the social media world has never been more confusing.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to carve out your own piece of the social media pie. It begins by asking the 5 W’s.

  1. Who is our audience?
  2. Where are they? Which social media platform?
  3. What kind of post do they react and engage with most often?
  4. Why does are audience engage with these posts?
  5. When and how often should we post?

Start by asking these simple questions and you will be well on your way to boosting your social media.

We made a handy guide to walk you through some of these questions as well as a sample posting schedule.

2018 Annual Meeting Videos

The 2018 Louisiana Baptist Convention was held November 12-13 at Temple Baptist Church in Ruston, LA.

Watch below to get caught up on the great things God is doing in our state.

Monday Evening

Tuesday Morning

Tuesday Evening

Who Don’t You See?

We’ve all had the experience. You’re cruising down the interstate when the car slightly in front of you swerves into your lane barreling dangerously close to the side of your car. Your adrenaline races and you sit on the horn. He swerves away and gives you an apologetic wave or some other less friendly gesture. Either you have encountered a lunatic intent on driving you off the road or, more likely, a negligent driver who didn’t check his blind spot. Thus the expression, “I never saw it coming!”

If you’re really honest you’d have to admit that you’ve done the same. We all have! We’ve all neglected our blind spot and heard the all too familiar loud honk of a horn or the sickening sound of scraping metal and increased insurance premiums!

In a sense, all of humanity was born with blind spots. Jesus described those living outside of his divine light as having eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear.

Even David, a man recognized as being after God’s heart, acknowledged his blind spots, if you will. He called them “hidden faults” (Ps. 19:12). These were sins outside of his realm of awareness, but were sins nonetheless. Even though he could not, or chose not, to list them, they were there. They were real.

Jesus was particularly hard on religious leaders with blind spots. On more than one occasion He pointed out their blindness and their apparent contentment with it.

Unlike His creation, Jesus doesn’t have a blind spot. His awareness of people and His surroundings challenges those of us who claim to be his followers.

Jesus sees individuals amidst the masses.

Jesus feels – He never became calloused but instead, felt compassion.

Jesus calls us to get involved.

Luke reminds us of an occasion where it was late in the afternoon but the crowds were still hanging out with Jesus. The disciples, probably tired from a long day, urged Jesus to send them away so they couldget something to eat and find a place to stay. They were more than likely surprised by Jesus’ response,“You give them something to eat.” In other words, don’t just dismiss the crowd because you’re tired. Don’t take the convenient route and let them figure it out on their own. Don’t pretend you don’t see who’s right in front of you and their needs –you do something.

Who’s in your blind spot?

Who’s right in front of you but you want to dismiss them to fend for themselves?

The disciples said, “Send them away.” Jesus said, “You do something today.”

But what can we do? One strategy is Here for You.

Here for You is an attempt to do something for the masses who are right in front of us as well as those in our blind spots. It would easy to say, budgets are down, we’re already doing all we can. Let someone else address the needs. But Jesus is calling us to do something – now. Like those blind-spot moments on the roads, spiritual blind spots can be deadly. When believers knowingly, or unknowingly, fail to recognize the needs of the lost, the consequences are devastating.

Right now, Louisiana Baptists are seeing and connecting with people in the blind spots. Using current communication platformswe’re sharing the bread of life with those who hunger for more than this chaotic world offers. And Jesus multiplies the message to –not just 5,000 –but hundreds of thousands of people as they receive a gospel seed via their smart phones, tablets, televisions, and social media platforms. But we need help passing out bread to the spiritually hungry. Would you consider helping pass the bread?

Visit LouisianaBaptists.org/hereforyou and enter the password, luke1423. There you’ll find how your church, no matter how small or how large, can begin to share the Bread of Life with every person on a regular basis through Here for You.

Jesus sees the masses.

Jesus notices the individuals.

Jesus calls on us to do what we can.

Join us.

Special Call to Prayer

Special call to prayer from SBC President J.D. Greear

With the announcement of Dr. Kelly’s retirement from New Orleans Seminary, there are currently five (5) SBC entities searching for a new leader. In light of this reality, SBC President, Dr. J.D. Greear, has asked all Southern Baptists to join him in day of prayer and fasting on Monday, October 8. Specifically he requests we pray:

  • For wisdom for the search committee in assessing what is needed most for effective ministry in the 21st century
  • For boldness for the search committee in asking the difficult questions
  • For loving-kindness for the search committee as they interact with one another
  • For favor, that God’s face would shine upon us as a people—not for our sake, but that Jesus’ name would be known to the ends of the earth.

I know Louisiana Baptists will gladly join him, and our brothers and sisters across the country, in bringing these requests before our heavenly Father.

Thank you Louisiana Baptists for your prayers and participation.