Does your church have a family tree?

We replicate what we celebrate.

Everyone knows, buried deep in our bones, is a desire to be more and do more of what we praise. Truthfully, the idea is at the heart of the gospel and our purpose as people created to worship. We become what we worship, and we replicate what we celebrate.

This past week, I happened to see a video by Pillar Church in Dumfries, VA. Pillar is a great church just outside of DC, and I consider them a model for others churches when it comes to multiplication.  I embedded the video here, so that you can view it.

Pillar Church Family Tree from Pillar Church on Vimeo.

The video traces what they call their Pillar family tree, and it raises a question.

Does our church have a family tree?

Our church is five years old, and multiplication was a high goal from the beginning. As a church plant, our membership naturally sees the importance of church planting and rallies behind the idea that multiplication is a better success metric than addition. Growing more churches is more important that growing our own church. The idea gets back to our gospel footprint. As we start new congregations here in the States or send missionaries to start new congregations across the world, we can impact far more areas with missions and mercy. The goal is the spread of the gospel.

To this end, I began tracing out the different planting teams and missionaries we have sent. It is humbling, and a cause for celebration. I am thankful for the impact of our one church through sending our members to multiply churches. We have sent missionaries from our own membership all over the world, right now working to plant churches among Hindus, Muslims, and even secular humanists. We also have several teams of members who left our church to plant new churches in major cities around the United States. Some are in Washington, DC or Atlanta. Others are in Denver or Philadelphia. There are more. Some are even in the same city where our church is located. Raleigh needs more churches, too. We are happy to see another church in our own city.

My prayer for our church is that we get excited about the growth of the gospel, here and abroad. By celebrating God’s work through our obedience, we have the chance to continually remind ourselves why we are here. It is ultimately humbling, and it keeps us focused on God’s heart that all peoples may know him.

Does your church have a family tree?

So, now I turn the question on you. Does your church have a family tree? Have you ever planted another church? Do you have missionaries sent out of your membership? If so, do your church members know the story? You need to tell it.

I encourage you to think about your own history as a church and trace down that line. For some churches, you will be able to point to other congregations that you planted or missionaries overseas that have done so. Other congregations, however, may find they have not. There is no time like the present to focus on multiplication. If your church has a family tree, trace it out so that your members can see and know the story of God’s work through your church. If it is just the beginning for you, envision with your members what that tree might look like, and start working towards it.

Remember, we replicate what we celebrate.

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