The Power of Systemic Duplication in Church Planting

The power of Systemic Duplication in Church Planting 
Recently I attended a conference related with the topic multiculturalism. There are only two or three countries in the world when we talk about diversity to its core even though on the other hand technologically globe is connected like a village. The United States, UK and India are melting pot of different cultures and India is the un-melting pot of diversity. Even I happened to tell to my friends, Indian community in the United States is the most unreached, unchurched people group and they are also the unmelted pot in US. Even the Indian churches in United States are the most diverse with its language and other cultural preferences or groups. We have Malayalam church, Tamil Church, Telugu church,  Bengali Church, Hindi Church, Punjabi Church, Kannada Church so on and so forth. This is not only a language, cultural and geographical differences but it includes the differences even in the faith tradition, food, superiority complex, caste and other variations. People from St. Thomas Tradition, People from Hindu Tradition, People from Animistic tradition, Punjabi Sikh Traditions, Buddhist Traditions and people who don't believe in anything.
In today's world we have first copy, limited edition, other series of product. Any winning product has a winning prototype, originally created by an inventor. Many time we haven't seen the winning prototype. Just before the prototype we have many attempt to create the perfect working prototype. The prototype of the church can be seen in the book of Acts. That was a winning prototype. China is also known by the world in this generation for prototype and duplication. When it comes to the church by 2030 communist China will have more number of church goers than America.

I woke up this morning with the idea that if there is any scope for duplication in church planting. In South and Southeast Asian context we often think about duplicating the person. It take many years or a lifetime for a church planter to duplicate himself and to grow into a self sustaining church. But how about Duplicating the system. It is not possible with leaders duplicating themselves.
I remember when I was in the school we used the Carbon paper. People who take good notes in class will make a duplicate for others to have it. The advancement in technology is that it helped us to create the duplicate. The printer, scanner, copier, computer programs options like copy and paste made it easy. The 3D printing making it more advanced to create the 3 dimensional copy.  When it comes to commercialization of product China made that as their brand to excel in creating cheap copy. They also have the capacity to produce in massive number and the exporting channel to help it reach the consumers hand.

One of the the major advancement in agricultural industry is the budding technology. When I was growing up we use to do that as part of my hobby, especially with the Rubber Tree and flower plants. The growth and the yield of the rubber tree depends on the adaptability of the budded trade mark. When we talk about the church planting we are talking about the systemic duplicate. How is that possible without being a sharp edge. Jesus talks about the kingdom of God was mainly the concept of the duplicate. Heaven duplicating on earth. The mission of Jesus was to duplicate heaven and God head. Disciples duplicating themselves. 
When we think about duplication in church planting we have to think about the following such as duplicating the leadership in teaching, preaching and mentoring. There are three 'E' letters, when we think about the first century duplication of church planting. 1. Evangelism, 2. Entrusting, 3.Establishing.  Evangelism was the center of the first century christians. The church is established in the faith by growing in relationship, teaching and ministry. The new converts are taught and model the first principles of the faith and everyone's gifts and abilities are contributed for the establishment of the kingdom. The church also was very key in developing leaders to give oversight and spiritual direction to the gathered community.
I have encountered church planting strategies in the United States, they follow strategic systemic duplication in many places. In the first place if you want to transition your church from a stagnant stage to become missional you need to think about new strategies. It take more effort to solve the problem with which it created on the first place. If you are serving in a traditional church and want to better impact your city, if you want to learn an incarnational approach to ministry, if you want to develop missional leaders in your church, if you want to plant a missional church the church need to develop strategies not transferred from traditional concepts to new concepts.  The missional church is always multiplying. It is all about helping the church to root every step in the mission of God’s Kingdom. This involves developing leaders, gospel focused missional framework, building relationship and relationship with neighbours, managing money and creating sustainable missional ministry models.


Binu Peniel (c) October 2016


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