When and How to Multiply?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jack Matthews, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    When our church was started, and acquired a building, the congregation decided that starting another church would be the goal when the space in the building was being used to its maximum ability. We've reached the point where, during our Bible study time, all our rooms are filled pretty much to capacity, the pre-school area is really crowded, and the sanctuary is at about 90% capacity for worship. We're looking at several options and I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with this sort of thing. Here's what we've looked at.

    1. Adding a second Sunday School at 11:00, and a second worship service at 9:30. No new church staff, but additional volunteers needed for teaching and child care.

    2. An afternoon Sunday School and worship, at 1:00 and 2:15, functioning as a second congregation.

    3. A satellite, or mission congregation meeting at another location, functioning as a new church start.

    With options 2 or 3, how is the determination made as to which members will go and which will stay? Do you do this along the natural lines of relationships that already exist, by assigning certain classes or home groups to one congregation or service, or do you let people more or less make their own choices?

    We've also thought of renting space. There's a strip shopping center next door that has space available where we could make about 8 new classrooms, and have an 8:30 and 11:00 worship with one Sunday School, but I'm not sure how well an 8:30 service would work for us. And if we continued to grow, it would make our current congregation larger. We'd rather start a new church to make room for new growth in both places than to get bigger here.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    The churches that I have been in that started new churches with existing membership left it open to prayerful volunteers to leave and go with the new start. Folks that felt as though the Lord was leading them to this new work.

    No one was instructed to go or assigned to go.

    Worked very well in both instances.
     
  3. palagislandgirl

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    I would say first pray about it. I was in a church that had this issue. I was in charge of preschool and children and I told my volunteers that they could sit for a service and work the next one. They picked the service they worked and which one that they went to worship and the schedule stayed the same. They loved it!
    :godisgood:
     
  4. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    That's probably what will happen. I think we are leaning toward simply starting a new work, whether it shares the current building, or we find another location, perhaps a school. I think we'll have a good core of people who feel led to do that, and willing to make the committment.

    Did you have much trouble getting the extra volunteers?
     
  5. gb93433

    gb93433
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  6. palagislandgirl

    palagislandgirl
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    When and How to Multiply

    We did have a little amount of trouble getting enough volunteers but it eventually worked out. I had some who would simply work both services so that I wouldn't have to fill the spot by myself and I had some that were always willing to lend a hand whether it was their week or not. The only problem I had was that we basically had the same group of kids for both services because of so many with kids being involved in the services. We would add or subtract a few kids but it was basically the same group so keeping track of numbers was probably the hardest thing.
     
  7. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    If a church plant is what you are after, then your 2nd option would seem to go far in training the necessary laity for the new work. In addition, the second service/Sunday school time is good stewardship of your church's facilities.
     
  8. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
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    We aren't running out of space yet, but we are considering an early morning contemporary service, then the regular Sunday School hour, and then the traditional service. We are looking at this as an opportunity to increase attendance by giving people a choice of the type of service they wish to attend. Here are a few thoughts on your options.

    1. This is a good option if you want to keep the church as one work.

    2. I am not sure how this would work. Are you speaking about a whole new staff, and new set of volunteers? As a short term solution it might work, however since it will be a plant from your present church I could see people hopping back and forth from morning to afternoon.

    3. If you want a new work this would seem the best option. The people interested in the work go out and start it with the help and support of the current church.


    Bill
     
  9. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    I guess our "between a rock and a hard place" problem with starting a new work at a different location is the "m" word. We want to be good stewards with the money we have and it is limited. Of course, the new work would have people who tithe and give, but most of those at the outset would be subtracted from the current congregation's tithers and givers, so it's kind of a wash. We found out today that the rent for nearby schools is way out of our budget. So we are looking at perhaps a smaller commercial space, until it grows enough to find a larger place. Option 1 was ruled out yesterday, since it would basically just add to the present congregation, and the original vision was to multiply at every opportunity.

    Thanks for the suggestions and the advice. The committee meets again Sunday, and I'll have something to present!
     
  10. rbell

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    Good grief...with the title "When and how to multiply" I thought this was a Birth Control thread! :laugh:

    We chose to do option 1: 2 Sunday Schools and 2 worship services. The following made our transition smooth:

    1. We did differing worship services (1 contemporary, 1 traditional) (PLEASE no debate about this...just telling ya what we did).
    2. We asked EVERYONE to sign up for Sunday School. (in other words, we started with a blank slate, and got folks to sign up). This helped us get folks "lined up" with a particular SS class.
    It will take you a couple of months to line up the new SS teachers if you go this route. You'll also end up getting a few more teachers than you'll need...but better safe than sorry.

    Because we did 2 differing styles, that helped us know what to expect...for instance, we don't even offer a youth SS during our first worship hour (Contermporary worship). We started out with that offered, but only 2-3 kids chose that route...and eventually, they decided to go to both hours of SS.

    Hope this helps. Ask if you need more info.
     
  11. bapmom

    bapmom
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    Jack Matthews,

    if you start a new church at a new location, you could look at it as a missions endeavour. You'd have a man from your congregation (one who you and he believe is called to be a pastor) and you'd send him as your church-planting missionary. Some of your missions money could go to support the new work, but he could also go on some deputation to ask other churches to help support the new work until it can become independent.

    This is how Ive seen it done by another large church in CA. They started two new churches in the LA area this way. Both new churches are on their own now, I believe. They asked for volunteers to begin attending the new places, moving their membership there, to help the new churches get off the ground. But they immediately began growing on their own as well.
     
  12. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    What I think I'm reading in your posts is that your church has a passion to start a new church plant but that there currently is a financial resource issue involved in having current members (tithers and givers) leave the sponsor church to assist in building up the new work.

    It sounds as though you need some additional growth in the sponsor church to offset the future losses of giving members to the new work. If so, it would seem to make sense to continue growing the sponsor church via something like #1 to increase the available financial resources.
     
  13. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    ........................
     
    #13 Jonathan, Mar 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2007

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