Mark Artrip is the Pastor of Movement Church in Hilliard, Ohio. Movement Church is a part of an interesting chronology of churches planting other churches in the greater Columbus area.
Key Concepts on Creating a Sending Church Culture
By Mark Artrip
In thinking about creating a culture within the church that understands the importance of being a “sending church,” it is good to first define its characteristics. When talking about a sending church, it is one that is multiplying themselves and starting new churches/campuses by sending people out. In the concept of sending, there are several factors vital to develop a culture in the church body that is on board and excited about multiplying and planting.
- Sending is a biblical mandate and a pattern we see in the New Testament church – Look at Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 with your people. Teach on these passages and how sending and church planting were done during the ministry of the apostles and the early church.
- Sending must be in your church plan/discipleship structure – Our plan is to apprentice people. We don’t start a group or ministry team/position without the expectation that they need a named apprentice under them. We have borrowed the four point below from the book Exponential by Dave and Jon Ferguson.
- selection – asking someone to be your apprentice in a certain ministry
- expectation – telling them what this will require/look like
- preparation – the process of developing them, meeting with them and investing in them
- graduation – the sending process
If something is in your plan, you regularly talk about it, plan toward it, and celebrate it when it happens. In our case here at Movement Church, we have had the line item of a new church plant in our budget for four years and would regularly talk about the amount we were saving (in our case, it was 5%) as well as what it was accumulating to. We would bring in other church planters and launch teams to celebrate them and celebrate pioneering. We would pray for potential places and even the nameless planter we knew we would one day hire. We regularly told our congregation, “we are going to ask you to move somewhere and be on the launch team…we just don’t know where that is yet.” And when we did have a planting couple, they were very visible, talked about, and have been commissioned by our church. We believe that multiplication happens on every level. This means personally with the gospel, but also in small groups, ministry teams, in leadership and even on a macro level through new churches/campuses.
- Sending must be in your budget. – Ministry leaders love to regularly quote Jesus in Matthew 6:21, where He said “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” We use this to tell people that our heart and money are connected and people should be connected and giving to the local church. I wholeheartedly believe in this and I think this rule also applies to church budgets. If the heart of your church and the budget of your church are one and the same, and budget isn’t kingdom-minded or structured to multiply, you need to fix that. That doesn’t mean that everyone has a million dollars or will start 5 churches/campuses a year, but a simple percentage goes a long way over time. We have put away 5% of our tithes and offerings since we started in 2012 and this fall we will launch our first church plant – Three Creeks Church in Gahanna, Ohio.
- Send people – This may seem obvious but just because you save money, plan toward something and raise up some leaders doesn’t mean that you will actually send them. Sending or birthing something new can be messy and feel like a loss in your immediate context. You have to know that you are building God’s kingdom and not your own and have confidence to send people.
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