One of the most painful experiences anyone can go through is an old fashioned church split. It has happened to many. It has happened to me. People leave because a leader they trust comes under an Absalom spirit drawing the hearts of the people away from the leader of the church. This is what David’s son Absalom did in the gate of the city as people entered – drawing the hearts of the people away from his father. Winning their loyalty by speaking against his father, the appointed leader of that time. This spirit is still active today and causes much pain because the divisive leader does not recognize that he or she is being influenced by a spirit that works hand-in-hand with the Spirit of Jezebel.
A church split is only painful if you do not plan for one to happen. If we put regular, healthy church splits into our plans and our prayer, we will be gloriously happy, and everyone will be blessed when a split occurs. This means that every church being planted must be born pregnant. The vision of the local church being planted is to reach a certain size determined by the leaders in consultation with Jesus who is building the Church. From the very first day this should be noted – that the church will give birth to a baby church when it reaches a certain size. A planned church split. Part of multiplying the influence of the local church in that region and even, at times, worldwide. This is multiplication and not addition because many more can be impacted and influenced as the number of churches increases.
When the church reaches a predetermined size they will not go out and build or buy a bigger building to house an increased crowd. They will send out key leaders and a group of good, mature disciples to start a church in a different location. This arises out of a vision for saturation church planting where the plan is to have Christ’s presence in every little neighbourhood in every city in every country in the world. This way the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus can literally be fulfilled in a few generations.
This means when planting a church or working to revive a dead church we need to make certain that within the stated DNA of the church we note the call on the local church to duplicate itself within every year or 18 months. Thus a church being planted will begin pregnant and another church will become reality as the first baby continued to grow and develop, soon giving birth to another baby. Then there will be two. And, the second church plant will also be birthed pregnant and the original “mother” church will, once again, be pregnant. Thus, two soon becomes four and four eight and eight sixteen.
Of course, this means that the local church must be constantly winning the lost and ready to welcome a constant flow of new believers, discipling them and training them in the Christian faith (according to Ephesians 4:11-15). Again, this must be part of the natural flow of the life of the church right from its inception and birth. Everyone must understand that multiplication through “making disciples” and birthing churches is the norm and part of the very essence and personality of the church that they are planting and attending. Plans are made and prayers offered about this part of the life of the local church before the church is ever conceived in the hearts of the parent church members.
This will include having to rapidly develop leadership for the new plant. Thus every local church will be a hothouse for leadership development and release. This all means that believers will need to reach maturity quickly so that they become productive, reproducing Christians fulfilling the Great Commission in their lives almost immediately after being born again. This means that the focus is reproduction and multiplication and the expansion of the Kingdom – not the individual believer who, in the current church world, is the focus and always needing to be ministers to and helped. Growing up fast becoming healthy and whole and contributing disciples of the Living Jesus Christ will be the norm and not the exception in the Church that Jesus is building.will be the norm.
Every new believer will quickly find healing, wholeness, and health spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and relationally so that they can become a vital part of the local Body of Christ – giving and not just taking. The focus is always the next church plant – the pregnancy of the current church plant. So, then we will have the manpower ready and willing to go and birth the next church when the time is right. The focus is not the constant, never-ending catering to and ministering to believers who refuse to grow up and become healthy and reproducing adult disciples.
And so the church expands through reproduction just as healthy children quickly grow up becoming mature, responsible adults, leave home, and begin another family with children of their own.
So, the Lord is challenging His Church – the Church that He is building – to become part of this multiplication. He is encouraging every believer to grow up and become mature, contributing members of the local church. He is wanting every local church to quickly grow in size and maturity and then reproduce itself as well. Disciples making disciples, churches planting churches. Then the increase of His government will be an established fact and the growth of the Kingdom continual and powerful just as the prophet Isaiah prophesied 750 years before the birth of Christ, the Head of the Church.
It is His Church and He has determined and recorded for us how it is to move forward to fulfill His ministry of seeking and saving the lost. Let’s become involved in what He has planned, revealed, and is currently doing. Then, the strife and division that causes unplanned for church division will cease and the Church will fulfill her mandate to “go into all the world making disciples.”