Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                     November 24, 2008
A Movement Seeking - and Experiencing - Rapid Multiplication
My Reflections
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One Thing LogoAimee, my wife and sweetheart, is a vegetarian. So, in recent years I've teased about getting a tofurkey for Thanksgiving since I, too, seem to be losing my appetite for a big turkey dinner.
But that's not why I'm thinking rabbit this year instead of turkey. I'm thinking rabbit because I love being part of a church multiplication movement that thinks in terms of rapid reproduction. And with tons of family and friends around during the holidays, what better time to plant seeds of the gospel...

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: This year think rabbits, not turkeys
A Movement Seeking - and Experiencing - Rapid Multiplication
Excerpt from Houses that Change the World by Wolfgang Simson
Most people come across the house-church model for the first time and do not see immediately its potential for growth through organic multiplication. But the right quality in the right structure produces a huge dynamic for growth. How can the quality of relationships become so good that there can be a fast multiplication of churches without losing the quality? The answer is obvious: it happens in proportion to the intensity of lives shared in house churches, a dynamic which Rabbit_2is rarely experienced in traditional churches. Since there is sometimes in traditional Christianity not much sharing of lives, this fact - and its potential - if often overlooked.
I agree with those who say that building communities is not primarily a matter of numbers but of quality. Nevertheless, quality which does not sooner or later lead to quantity is, to me, suspect. I am interested in spiritual quality in the right place in an appropriate structure in the right order of magnitude and properly distributed (1999:106).
My Reflections
When I first started out in "vocational ministry" bigger was better. In the early 90s I worked for a large church and it seemed we staffers lived and died by the almighty clipboard. Every Sunday we'd count heads in our classes, then write the number down. Then, like clockwork, the same man would come around every Sunday and pick them up.
On Monday morning a report tallying all the previous day's attendance figures would be inside our boxes. And as much as the staff tried not to compare, we did. There's just no way around it. Men keep score.
Today, although I still think about numbers - growing the Kingdom exponentially - I'm happy to say I'm now part of a church environment that doesn't tie my identity to a clipboard. Instead, we enjoy each other's successes as if they were our own while knowing our identities are tied to the God One Thing Logowe know and to our character.
Admittedly, thinking smaller (little rabbits, fast reproduction) has proved quite the adjustment as we still live in the sunset of a bigger-is-better world. But that's all changing thanks to changing cultural values.
This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for one clipboard: the Lamb's Book of Life. Together, empowered by the Holy Spirit, let's rejoice as we continue to work together to make rapidly-reproducing disciples and churches.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table