Churches are meant to reproduce

November 8, 2019

Church Planting N.C.’s (CPNC’s) core values focus on deepening relationships with planters and reproducing churches. Previously, we explored our first core value “tribe.” Now let’s explore our second core value which is “reproduce.”

Churches are meant to reproduce
During my early ministry years I served at a church that was next door to a neighbor who was rebuilding an airplane. Day after day the plane remained on the ground. Day after day our neighbor tinkered with it. One afternoon I noticed that the runway was cleared across the street. I thought, “Is that plane going to fly?” To my dismay, the plane never moved.

Planes aren’t made simply to be tinkered with — planes are meant to fly. Churches aren’t meant to sit still either; churches are meant to reproduce. If we are going to impact lostness through disciple-making, reproducing churches through church planting is the best pathway to get the gospel off the ground.

Ever since the church at Antioch in Acts 13 where Paul and Barnabas were sent out by the Holy Spirit on the very first missionary church planting journey, God’s church has reproduced and multiplied. However, something has happened in North America over the last half-century — church reproduction has slowed down, and churches are not sending and reproducing as exponentially as they did in the past.

If we are going to impact lostness through disciple-making, reproducing churches through church planting is the best pathway to get the gospel off the ground.

Reproducing is part of a church’s DNA
CPNC seeks to plant churches that plant reproducing churches. I have never met a church planter who did not agree with that mission; however, while most planters agree with the principle of reproducing, the overall goal of becoming a reproducing church often wanes over time. The week-to-week needs of a new church can become all-encompassing and overtake aspirations to reproduce. CPNC works to plant the value of “reproduce” deep within the DNA of a new church.

Churches don’t reproduce and plant churches just because they intend to — at least, not more than once. Churches must be committed to reproduce at every level if they hope to become a reproducing church. They must reproduce relationships, team members, groups, leaders, services and sometimes even church campuses. Reproducing at all levels ensures that opportunities arise for new leaders in positions that become available due to those who accept the challenge to go and become part of a core team of a newly reproducing church.

Together is better
A common misperception about reproducing churches is that only large churches can or should reproduce. While it’s true that larger churches often have more people and resources to send, average-sized churches with reproducing DNA can often reproduce with an agility that larger churches struggle with. The average-sized reproducing church has the ability to collaborate with other similar churches. Together they can partner and accomplish something that neither would be able to do on their own. This type of partnership is beautiful, Christlike and is very reminiscent of the partnerships we see between churches in the epistles. Every church can be a church planting church.

What is your church doing to become a reproducing, church planting church?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second article in a three-part series on Church Planting NC’s core values. The other articles in this series may be accessed here: Part 1 and Part 3.


by Mike Pittman  
Church Planting  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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