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Stage 8: Partnering

Family of churches equip for outreach

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints—and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us (1 Cor. 8:1-5).

  • Outcome: Churches plant churches

  • Key Person: Conference Leaders

  • How to Give: Give toward travel and communication for the apostolic national leader identified by Multiply regional leadership

  • How to Pray: Pray for new leaders to emerge and rise up all over the country

  • How to Go: Go serve the apostolic national leader with your expertise in support of their endeavors (e.g. business, community development, church-planting)

  • How to Partner: Partner by working alongside the apostolic national leader in all their pursuits, handling the finances and assisting in the operations; use the mission strategy map to share their strategy with supporters; work under the Multiply regional leader

Description:

For a network of church plants to become sustainable, they need to form a family of churches. The new pastors connect with each other. They use their gifts to encourage the other churches. They partner more widely with a larger family of churches. This stage is complete when the leadership focus shifts from the apostolic leader to a team of pastors.

  1. Mobilize – The apostolic leader has ideas, but the implementation shifts to working with the team.

  2. Connect – Partnering widely brings more connections.

  3. Witness – We’re helping these pastors empower their churches to send people out to witness.

  4. Gather – Congregations identify with a larger family on mission together.

  5. Equip – A primary outcome of the pastors working together is their ability to develop leaders.

  6. Grow – Some outreach initiatives previously housed inside local churches are now spreading out as larger programs.

  7. Multiply – The apostolic leader continues to share vision and call church planters.

  8. Partner – Churches group together into a family of churches. And this family of churches partners with other families of churches in mission.

Biblical Foundation:

As the early church grew, its own identity was not limited to being part of an individual local church, but rather reflected the unity of all the churches gathering in a given location, such as the church in Ephesus, which would have included numerous house churches (Rev. 2:1). Paul appeals to shared traditions and common practice among churches, which form standards of accountability in relationship with each other (1 Cor. 11:1, 16; 14:36), as well as to the unifying fellowship of the Spirit, which binds churches together (2 Cor. 13:13; Eph. 4:3). This sharing in the Triune God (1 John 1:3-7) is also experienced though their shared participation in the gospel and in God’s grace (Phil. 1:3-7), which provide the foundation to partner together as individual churches. The vision for partnership as churches involves serving as co-workers where each contributes in various ways to God’s mission (1 Cor. 3:6-9), mutually giving and receiving to each other (Phil. 4:15-16), sharing material resources with those in need (2 Cor. 8:1-5), and sharing in each other’s suffering (2 Cor. 1:7). 

Interdependence rather than autonomous individualism defines the nature of the church, as illustrated by the Macedonian believers who generously and joyfully gave of themselves to help the Jerusalem believers during their time of need (2 Cor. 8:1-5).9 Paul’s appeal to the Corinthians to join in this giving highlights how the larger church family is able to do much more when they are in partnership than local churches can do on their own (2 Cor. 8:7-11). This interdependence is also evident in the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15), where disagreements about direction in mission are discussed and discerned within the context of the larger gathered church (Acts 15:22).

<<Mission Strategy Map           Stage 9: Extending>>

____________________
9Van Gelder, The Essence of the Church, 110.

Stage 8: Partnering

Family of churches equip for outreach

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints—and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us (1 Cor. 8:1-5).

  • Outcome: Churches plant churches

  • Key Person: Conference Leaders

  • How to Give: Give toward travel and communication for the apostolic national leader identified by Multiply regional leadership

  • How to Pray: Pray for new leaders to emerge and rise up all over the country

  • How to Go: Go serve the apostolic national leader with your expertise in support of their endeavors (e.g. business, community development, church-planting)

  • How to Partner: Partner by working alongside the apostolic national leader in all their pursuits, handling the finances and assisting in the operations; use the mission strategy map to share their strategy with supporters; work under the Multiply regional leader

Description:

For a network of church plants to become sustainable, they need to form a family of churches. The new pastors connect with each other. They use their gifts to encourage the other churches. They partner more widely with a larger family of churches. This stage is complete when the leadership focus shifts from the apostolic leader to a team of pastors.

  1. Mobilize – The apostolic leader has ideas, but the implementation shifts to working with the team.

  2. Connect – Partnering widely brings more connections.

  3. Witness – We’re helping these pastors empower their churches to send people out to witness.

  4. Gather – Congregations identify with a larger family on mission together.

  5. Equip – A primary outcome of the pastors working together is their ability to develop leaders.

  6. Grow – Some outreach initiatives previously housed inside local churches are now spreading out as larger programs.

  7. Multiply – The apostolic leader continues to share vision and call church planters.

  8. Partner – Churches group together into a family of churches. And this family of churches partners with other families of churches in mission.

Biblical Foundation:

As the early church grew, its own identity was not limited to being part of an individual local church, but rather reflected the unity of all the churches gathering in a given location, such as the church in Ephesus, which would have included numerous house churches (Rev. 2:1). Paul appeals to shared traditions and common practice among churches, which form standards of accountability in relationship with each other (1 Cor. 11:1, 16; 14:36), as well as to the unifying fellowship of the Spirit, which binds churches together (2 Cor. 13:13; Eph. 4:3). This sharing in the Triune God (1 John 1:3-7) is also experienced though their shared participation in the gospel and in God’s grace (Phil. 1:3-7), which provide the foundation to partner together as individual churches. The vision for partnership as churches involves serving as co-workers where each contributes in various ways to God’s mission (1 Cor. 3:6-9), mutually giving and receiving to each other (Phil. 4:15-16), sharing material resources with those in need (2 Cor. 8:1-5), and sharing in each other’s suffering (2 Cor. 1:7). 

Interdependence rather than autonomous individualism defines the nature of the church, as illustrated by the Macedonian believers who generously and joyfully gave of themselves to help the Jerusalem believers during their time of need (2 Cor. 8:1-5).9 Paul’s appeal to the Corinthians to join in this giving highlights how the larger church family is able to do much more when they are in partnership than local churches can do on their own (2 Cor. 8:7-11). This interdependence is also evident in the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15), where disagreements about direction in mission are discussed and discerned within the context of the larger gathered church (Acts 15:22).

<<Mission Strategy Map           Stage 9: Extending>>

____________________
9Van Gelder, The Essence of the Church, 110.