Church planting has been around since New Testament times. Today, however, it means more than starting a single congregation. It often means one congregation multiplying itself through other congregations.
In Twelve Trends in Multiplication, Jeff Leake identifies different ways existing Assemblies of God churches are starting new AG congregations. As a “voluntary cooperative fellowship,” the AG encourages its churches to experiment with new ways of doing things, and this experimentation is bearing fruit in the growth of new churches.
Leake is pastor of Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. APC has seven campuses and has planted 31 new churches over the course of his three-decades-long leadership. It is an example of what he calls “the church planting network model.”
Here are the 12 models Leake identifies:
- Attractional/video venue
- Empowerment/live speaking
- Circuit rider
- International venue
- Church planting network
- Resource network
- Big day/large launch
- Prison campus
- Leadership pipeline
For each model, Leake answers seven questions:
- What does each entity/location have in common?
- What is customized?
- What is centralized?
- What are the pros of this model?
- What are the cons or limitations of this model?
- What are the start-up and ongoing cost factors?
- What is the level of management competence needed to provide proper controls?
These two lists indicate that there is no one “right” way to multiply churches, as well as that all models have tradeoffs.
I would recommend this book especially to pastors who feel called to plant churches out of their existing congregations. It will give them an idea of the various ways church planting can take place, as well as address some of the questions they might have about which models will work best for them.
Some of the churches Leake profiles are megachurches, but not all are. In fact, several of the models were designed specifically to plant churches in under-resourced areas, whether rural or urban.
Jeff Leake, Twelve Trends in Multiplication: A Study in Reproducing Churches (Springfield, MO: Church Multiplication Network, 2021).
P.S. If you like my review, please click “Helpful” on my Amazon review page.