Multiplying services and church planting: yes and no

A basic form of church planting is multiplying services. It's one of the basic ways to grow your church and reach new people. But is it really church planting? Yes and No.

Here are some of the problems with multiplying services:

  • You run the risk of just duplicating what you are already doing, rather than doing the hard planning, contextualisation and planning for outreach.
  • Multiplying services can place a limitation on leadership development. All leaders of the new service still sit under the leaders, eldership, parish council of the existing service. There is a glass ceiling to full responsibility.
  • The new service rarely has the full range of duties and services of a new church. This makes it easier to start a new service, but stops the new service from developing a robust life of its own.
  • The leader of the new service need not be as much of a pioneering leader, because the new service may ride the wave of the existing service's momentum. Focusing on starting new services can let us off the hook of recruiting pioneering leaders.