What NewThing Does to Catalyze Church Planting

I think about this topic quite a bit as you could imagine!

NewThing is a catalyst. We are trying to overcome several challenges that we see in church planting, particularly in the West.

We are NOT trying to be a denomination. We are NOT a typical church planting organization that centralizes money and programs from the center.

We are doing our best to remain MOVEMENTAL in our structures.
These are the BIG THREE for me.

First, NewThing networks churches together so they can plant more churches together. Churches must plant churches. Yet most don’t. Of course church planting is a significant undertaking and many churches lack the resources and people to go it alone. Bringing churches together to so they can plant more churches…together is one of the ways to solve this issue. Networks are a better stewardship of resources.

Second, NewThing provides an accountability mechanism to so that churches plant the churches they say they will plant. Without a local network of relationships hold church leaders accountable to church planting, it’s not going to happen. Our My Reproducing (MRP) Tool is one of the ways we do this.

Third, NewThing brings churches together and aligns them around the Missio Dei (Mission of God) in the spirit of collaboration. Jesus started a movement. Yet, we don’t see movement in the Western context. We are convinced that only when churches come together to plant churches will we see movement and even then it won’t really be a movement. (I’ll explain my thoughts on this this in another post at some point.) Collaboration and partnership need to be catalyzed and fostered.

It’s true – together we are better.

I am still working on these ideas so stay tuned.

You Can’t Get to Level 5 on Your Own

Several weeks ago I had the privilege to participate in conversations with leaders about the ‘Becoming a Level 5 Assessment.’ (Take the Assessment HERE.) 

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Becoming Level 5

For several days, we talked about what a Level 5 church even looks like and how we can get there. The dialogue was fruitful and robust and I was grateful to be part of it.

As I’ve reflected on that meeting, I came to the conclusion that no one church will achieve level 5.

It will take networking and collaboration to get to Level 5.

So you’re up to speed, the BL5 assessment ranks churches into levels:

1 – Declining
2 – Plateaued
3 – Growing
4 – Reproducing
5 – Movement

According to the assessment so far…

  • Approximately 80% of churches in North American are Level 1 and 2
  • Approximately 16% are Level 3.
  • Approximately 4% are Level 4.
  • There are no level 5 churches in North America according to the assessment. (This might be a slight exaggeration as there may be one or two but that’s still up for debate.)

That’s right, zero Level 5 churches.

I suspect most of you want to be level 5? I am sure most of would agree that getting to Level 5 would be a good thing!

Now, to be honest, it’s a challenge to even describe a Level 5 ‘church.’

Here is rough sketch:

  • Full expression of APEST
  • Simple systems
  • Kingdom focus
  • Oikos – Communitas as the primary relational platform
  • Functioning on new economic models
  • Collaborative
  • “FAMILY” ethos
  • Repeatable rhythms
  • Core DNA is simple and transferable
  • Spontaneous development occurs
  • Planned inefficiencies
  • A focus on future growth
  • Risky
  • Biased toward releasing
  • Openness to new tech. and new things
  • Decentralized

I suspect that Level 4 (Growing) and Level 4 churches (reproducing churches) can only get to Level 5 as they network with other churches to plant the seeds of level 5 churches. In this way, Level 3 and Level 4 seed Level 5 movements.

There will be some challenges for us to do this.

One of the challenges is our ‘go-it-alone’ attitude. We tend to want to do everything ourselves, train leaders, plant churches, gather our own networks, centralize the funding, put our brand on it. Nothing is ‘wrong’ with this. I celebrate any effort to plant more churches, sites, and missional communities.

It just won’t get you to Level 5.

We can’t achieve the Jesus Mission on our own. We will need to work together to do it. We’re going to need to work with each other. We will need to network and collaborate in new and in significant ways.

I am not sure what that’s going to look like…yet. But I am confident we can do it.

At NewThing we are committed to doing our part to make it happen.

I am excited about the work Todd Wilson and Dave Ferguson have done in writing the eBook, Becoming a Level 5. It’s going to change the conversation about multiplication, especially in North America.

Read it. And take the assessment.

Then ask yourself, how you and your church can be part of a network of churches that will seed level 5 movements. Together, we really can achieve the Jesus Mission.

What are your thoughts? Where have you seen churches collaborating with other churches to achieve more for the Kingdom?

You’re Learning Something We All Need to Know!

I have a question for you: What is the one thing you are learning that will help the rest of us plant a church or missional community?

There’s something that you’ve learned that’s unique to your context that can help us. Maybe you learned it the hard way? Maybe you learned it by accident? Perhaps it’s not even related to church planting. Whatever it is, will you share it with us?

One of the things I love about church planting is that it’s collaborative. While we plant in different contexts, we have a common purpose: help people find and follow Jesus. The more we share the greater the impact for the Kingdom.

One of the reasons I started Mission Glue was so that we had a platform to learn from each other. So help us out.

I’d love to hear from as many as you as possible. Go ahead and post a comment here or email me. I will cut and paste them together and re-post them.

Even if you’re not willing to share here, please share with someone. What you’re learning is valuable.