One of the things that helps make simple churches more like rabbits than elephants is that there’s an expectation that every person will be part of two churches or connected with two churches at one time.
The first of these churches is their spiritual home — their spiritual family. So that’s represented by this triangle. You’ll see in this triangle there are 2 circles, 2 squares, 2 X’s, and 2 stars.
So these represent four couples that are in that church. They’ll also, potentially have a bunch of children, but they’re not in this picture. This is just looking at the adults. So that’s their spiritual family. They will remain part of that spiritual family.
If they lead someone to Christ, rather than adding them to their church, they will help that person reach out to their friends and family, and start a new church, a new spiritual family.
Or if there’s a Christian who comes, and they see what’s going on, and says, “Wow, I would love to join your church. Can I join your church?”
Generally, they’ll say, “No, sorry you can’t, but I would love to help you start a church like this.”
So in either case, whether it’s helping a new Christian start a new church or helping an existing Christian start a new church, a new church is being formed.
So one of these couples, say the X’s, they will go out and they will assist, they will model and assist for this new church to start.
They’re modeling and assisting. You will notice that they’re drawn outside that new church. They’re not members of it. They’re not part of it. But they’re modeling and assisting them on a temporary basis.
Then at the same time, you also have the circles and the squares and stars doing this same thing so this one church is birthing potentially four churches at a time. As they’re all finishing the model and assist phase, one of the things they’re assisting them to do is to start subsequent generation churches — next generation churches.
When that starts to happen, then the X’s will stop the model and assist phase. They will then begin to watch that church that they have been modeling and assisting, and then the X’s will go out and repeat the process, modeling and assisting for another new church.
Then after they do that, they’ll add that second church to their watch list. They’ll go out and do the same process again.
So generally, you’re modeling and assisting for one church at a time, but you can be watching multiple churches at a time. This is because the modeling and assisting is a far more intensive hands-on process. It requires some personal, active attention. Whereas the watch phase is less hands-on, less direct, less frequent, less intense, so you can watch multiple churches at a time.
Then you have the churches that are in the watch phase. They are already reproducing and modeling and assisting for those new churches. Once those new churches enter the watch phase, they will also.
The next generation churches, will also be planting new churches, so that you’re constantly multiplying these churches.
You can see how this is like a rabbit having multiple churches at a time, having a short timeline to do so. For example, I like to aim for three months for the model and assist phase. That model and assist phase is essentially a spiritual generation for the new church plans.
This concept is covered by “Always Part of Two Churches” in session 9 of the Zúme Training.
I’m aiming for an average reproduction cycle of three months.
There are churches that die. There are churches that don’t reproduce. There are churches that reproduce more slowly. Either way, I like to aim for three months. So by the end of that three months, they already need to be involved in planting another new church, that’s my goal.
So if every disciple is constantly part of two churches, one which is their primary spiritual family and one in which they are modeling or assisting … this leads to rapid multiplication.
More Multiplication Concepts
This concept is part of the “Multiplication Concepts” series by Curtis Sergeant. Consider working through the entire series and challenging someone you know to do it with you. See an entire list of the concepts in the article titled “Multiplication Concepts”.
This same concept is taught in the Zúme Training course using video animation and is translated into 40 languages. This concept is covered by “Always Part of Two Churches” in session 9 of the Zúme Training.
Zúme Training is an on-line and in-life learning experience designed for small groups who follow Jesus to learn how to obey His Great Commission and make disciples who multiply.