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10 Signs a Church Leader Will Multiply

Virtually every pastor I know has a desire to multiply his church but very few actually do. Here are some characteristics I’ve noticed in those leaders who successfully lead their churches to multiply.

  1. He comes from a multiplying church. There’s no counterfeit for experiencing firsthand the power of gospel multiplication. Most multiplying leaders I’ve met come from a family of multiplying churches with a strong disciple making culture. These men have had great examples to model church and leader multiplication.
  2. He has the the respect of impressive young men. It’s hard to multiply leaders if those who have the raw materials to become leaders don’t want to spend any time with you.
  3. He knows what to do with them. Not only does he have the respect of young men but he invites them to learn more about Christ and is willing to press them on spiritual matters.
  4. He prioritizes activities that lead to multiplication – Leader multiplication is a prerequisite for church multiplication. The regular rhythms of any multiplying leader include initiating relationships with focused, leader-making discipleship as the goal.
  5. He avoids “now/later” language. Multiplying leaders don’t chase carrots. Instead, they build in the beginning what they want in the end. You’ll never hear a multiplying leader say, “We’re going to start planting churches when we…” Instead, they start trying from the very beginning and get better as they go.
  6. He has an impulse to begin immediately – Though I don’t suggest church planters begin a formal residency immediately when their church begins – the impulse to do so is it good indication that they’re serious about multiplication. The church planter that begins identifying future church planters and readying them from the very earliest stages are those that get my attention. They will make a lot of mistakes early on and may even fail at their first few attempts but they see gospel multiplication as a great commission mandate.
  7. He’ll probably lead a modestly sized church. That’s not to say he won’t lead a growing church it’s just to say that he probably won’t lead mega church. The skillset required for making and deploying disciples is different from the skillset required to manage a large organization.
  8. He will be accessible. Guys who are stingy with their pulpit, stingy with their time and stingy with their expertise will only accidentally and sporadically develop new pastors.  If you want to leave a wake of churches behind you you’ll have to “roll deep” most of the time.
  9. He knows the difference between attracting good leaders and developing them. Very few church planters will have the street credibility required to naturally attract other good leaders to them. That won’t stop your guy though, he is willing to invest time and energy into those who are “Faithful, Available and Teachable”… He won’t attract good leaders, he’ll produce them.
  10. He will be wildly optimistic about pastoral potential in others. While most leaders think of their skills as unique and highly refined, a good multiplayer will see potential that others don’t see. The leader you are looking for is the one that believes that any man can plant a church, all he needs is discipleship.

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