Why is it that reproducing artists, leaders and churches is so dang hard? I think it’s because many of us make two key mistakes:
- We believe reproducing is easier than it really is.
- We don’t build a culture of reproducing.
So let’s all just admit reproducing is hard. But it’s essential if we want to see a movement to accomplish the Jesus mission.
I am convinced reproducing can be reduced to three components:
A friend and fellow church planter challenged me to think through reproducing and to help other planters. So I am writing a series of posts “How to Create a Culture of Reproducing” (I know it’s clever) to help planters think this through.
This is the FOURTH and FINAL POST in the series.
Read PART ONE HERE.
Read PART TWO HERE.
Read PART THREE HERE.
The final component of reproducing is accountability.
Accountability simply means that you have measures in place to help you do what you say you’re going to do. If you want to build a culture of reproducing you’re going to need to set goals, develop some metrics around them, and then help each other meet those goals. Sure it’s hard, but it’s also essential.
Here are some ways to build accountability into your culture…
Celebrate Reproducing. When you see people reproducing celebrate it. Tell a stories of people reproducing. Write notes to leaders who are reproducing etc. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate reproducing.
Ask Questions. When you check in with staff and leaders ask them how they’re doing on the reproducing front. Questions like: “who is your apprentice” or “who are you investing in” or “who are you doing ministry with” are great ways to drive home the notion that your culture is all about who is next.
Create Leadership Expectations Document. I know it sounds dull but it’s essential to write down what exactly you and your team are going to hold yourselves accountable to. This document should inform your leaders about what you’re asking them to do and why. And it should set accountability standards for reproduction by spelling out what reproducing needs to look like in your context.
Create a Matrix to Track Reproducing. Devise a simple metric to track coaches, leaders and apprentices. Share these numbers with your team often.
Insist Leaders Meet with Their Apprentices. The planter will need to keep asking leaders who they have met with and how those meetings are going. If you’re leaders aren’t recruiting and investing in apprentices you’re not reproducing.
Term Small Groups. I am a fan of term small groups. We have three a year. And they help foster reproducing. At the end of every term out leaders have an opportunity to invest in another apprentice.
Always Be Reproducing Something. A leader, a team, a service, a church, a network…You can’t wait for a the right time to reproduce. Set a goal for reproducing and work towards it. When you reach it, set another goal. Soon you’ll be seeing reproducing everywhere.
Well that’s it–for now. Like I said, I’ve tried to capture my thoughts on this topic. They will certainly change. Just a couple of things to remember.
- Keep at it. Reproducing is hard. If it weren’t everyone would be doing and we’d see Kingdom movements everywhere. While reproducing is hard, I am convinced that it’s the only way we are going to achieve the Jesus mission.
- Reproducing is practice and art, not method and process. I hope you can see that reproducing is not a growth model nor a program. It’s an ethos. It’s a Kingdom thing.
- Reproducing is a God thing. While you do need vision, intentionality and accountability–in the end God does the reproducing. Paul reminded the Corinthian church:
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:5-7).
What have you learned about reproducing that can help the rest of us? Please comment here or email me. I’d love to hear from you.
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