Family Church has a rich history where we have experienced amazing growth, both spiritual and numerical. In 2011 we were identified as one of the top two percent of churches in the US that help people mature spiritually. In 2014, our story of spiritual growth through Family Churches Spiritual Pathway was published in the book, RISE: Bold Strategies to Transform Your Church. For the past ten years Family Church has experienced numerical growth every year. But past success does not guarantee the same for the future.
Before leaving earth, Jesus clearly stated his vision, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not be able to stand against it.” This was a bold declaration to his band of followers who were commissioned to make disciples. He in essence is saying, “My church will be unstoppable!”
How is the church doing today? Eighty percent of the churches in the United States are either plateaued or in decline. Let that sink in. That’s a troubling statistic. Only twenty percent of all these churches are growing. If these facts aren’t sobering enough consider this, only four percent of the churches in North America are identified as reproducing churches, meaning, these churches are experiencing growth as their congregants are making disciples who make disciples.
What’s the missing? Why is the church in America in decline? The church is failing to REPRODUCE. The unstoppable church that Jesus was envisioning was a reproducing movement. His disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit preached and shared their faith story with family and friends and the church grew. The church gathered was attractive to the spiritually hungry world. The power and presence of God was evident and people far from God began to follow Jesus. These people told their friends who became followers of Jesus. The norm in the early church was disciples reproducing other disciples of Jesus. Leaders also were raised up and reproduced other leaders. As the church grew, churches reproduced other churches. What was the impact? Lives were changed, relationships and families were restored, and the lost world found hope in Jesus. After a few short years, it was said of these followers of Jesus, “These men have turned the world turned upside down!” (Acts 17:6)
In 2013 when we opened Family Church in Green, we were told, “We don’t need another church in the Green District”. “This is the place where church plants die.” We didn’t listen to the Nay Sayers, but instead brought the church closer to those who were attending Family Church from that area. We believed that their friends and family would attend if Family Church was closer. Today Family Church in Green is thriving. Unchurched people are becoming followers of Jesus. Over three hundred people attend one of the three services. Lives are being changed.
What if we would not have followed God’s lead and taken the risk to open the Green Campus? Reproducing is paying off.
Today, a growing number from Myrtle Creek/Tri City area are attending the Green Campus. With the reproducing mindset that Jesus modeled and the life changing message that He brings, we are making plans to open Family Church in South County next year.
The leadership at Family Church is committed to Jesus’ vision for the church. How will the church be unstoppable? The church will be unstoppable by relying on the power of Jesus, under the direction of Jesus, with the strategy of Jesus.
1) By growing disciples who make disciples.
A disciple is a follower of Jesus, who is being changed by Jesus, and is on mission with Jesus. Are you living out those three aspects? The best place to grow as a follower of Jesus is in a Life Group. Life Group leaders are being trained to grow disciples who make disciples. The goal of every disciple of Jesus is not just to grow spiritually, but to reproduce other followers of Jesus.
2) By growing Life Groups that reproduce Life Groups.
In a Life Group leaders are trained to be intentional about growing disciples and building new leaders. Are you in a Life Group? Would you be interested in being apprenticed to become a leader?
3) By launching new campuses. Family church is a multisite church, one church in many locations. Our strategy is to continue opening new campuses that in turn reproduce new campuses. Would you join us in praying for the next campus we are preparing to open in South County?
The unstoppable church is a reproducing church; reproducing followers of Jesus, reproducing leaders and reproducing campuses and churches. Why is this so important? Because lives still need to be changed, relationships and families still need to be restored, and there is a lost world around us that need the hope that can only be found in Jesus.
May it be said of us, “These people have turned the world turned upside down!”