Subtraction, Addition or Multiplication – What Level Is Your Church At?

We showed this short video at last year’s ‘Exponential Conversation’ event, because it explains quite succinctly the five levels or cultures of church multiplication and their distinguishing characteristics. As you watch it, ask yourself which level you’re at right now, subtraction, addition or multiplication – and where do you want to be? It might be a helpful summary that in Levels 1 and 2 the message is ‘Please stay.’ In Levels 3 and 4 the message is ‘Please come, be part of our mission.’ A Level 5 church is a launchpad saying, ‘Please GO! Fulfil your mission!’ If you want to go to the next level – you’re not too late to book for the church multiplication catalyst event LAUNCH in Manchester, 13-15th November.  I’d love everyone who’s coming to LAUNCH to have already done the free assessment here so you know what level you’re at, because you can’t go where you’re meant to go next, till you know where you are now.


There Are Too Many People Coming To Church

You’ll probably be surprised to hear a church leader saying that. The papers love to report the decline/demise of ‘Christianity/faith/religion’ in the nation – so any survey that points that way is of course big news. The truth where I am right now is that actually we actually do have too many people presently attending some of our services at Ivy – this is why we keep planting new ones and this morning had to keep some people waiting to get in the building because it was too full. But that’s not what I mean when I say there are too many people coming to church. What I mean is, too many people who still come to church, well – just come to church. I asked the people who came to our building tonight, do you just COME to church – or are you BECOMING church? We actually still have lots of buildings all over the nation where people still come to church – but not enough BECOME church. You become church when you get gripped by the grace of God […]


I hope 5Q Book puts us ‘in ministry’ out of a job, to get the rest of us in ministry

I’ve been waiting years for Alan Hirsch to write this book, ever since the unforgettable Forgotten Ways which is a core text now for the Transformational Leadership course I teach at WTC. This builds on that groundbreaking work and goes deeper still. I’ll declare that I got a free e-copy for review but I just ordered the paperback because like Forgotten Ways this will end up multi-coloured and with scribbles all over. Kindle says I’m 20% through it and it seems like I only just picked it up, I was so engrossed. I’ll blog again when I get my breath back and having let my thoughts settle. For those of us who are in church leadership and used to Hirsch, my question is, ‘HOW THE HECK CAN YOU GET USED TO HIRSCH?’ If you actually read books with a mindset of implementation not just interest, his challenge to present day western ecclesiology changes EVERYTHING. Or it should. I just pray it’s not to late – the ongoing focus in denominations on ordaining some more people into the old system rather than […]


5 Ways Church Planters Change The Church

This week I was privileged to attend a gathering of church planting leaders from around the world this week. This talk by Dr Timothy Tennant, President of Asbury Seminary was packed with insights:  We believe the church is meant to be missional. And the way the church has been done that has been ‘be nice to visitors.’ But nobody is going to walk in the door to find out how nice you are. So we have to be at mission in the church. We have had pastors as ministers to existing members. But church planting is a permission slip to reach new people. The global church has become very nominal and needs to be transformed. Our posture is always that we need to be fellow travelers, experimenting together. People of different contexts and experiences, learning from each other. When you’re so busy planting churches and preaching the gospel you don’t have time to theologise on it.  To reflect and ask ‘What are we doing? How can we do it better? Field missionaries are often befuddled when they read mission journals. Theoretical constructs – how does it […]


Why does @garethrobinson think you should come to LAUNCH?

Gareth Robinson heads up New Wine’s focus on Church Planting and together with his wife Lizzie runs a church plant in Salford, Manchester.  We asked Gareth at last year’s gathering ‘Becoming Five – in partnership with Exponential’ what he thought of it, “It’s a great joy to be here! It’s great to have all sorts of people from all sorts of places gathering together to talk about church planting, to ask the questions like; what is really working – and what can we do to see church planting encouraged across our nation and across the world?”  We liked that so much we invited Gareth to be on the team helping plan November’s LAUNCH which will be bigger and even better!  He’ll help and host the LAUNCH Pre-Con (in partnership with New Wine) too which will have a specific focus on questions church planters and those considering that missional move need to grapple with. Book now before the best deals go! 


Dave Ferguson Says ‘Make Sure You’re At LAUNCH This Year!’

“If you’re interested in church planting, if you’re interested in multiplication, in mission or movement making – this is the place that you will meet with other people who love and are passionate about the same thing, where you can also learn and share best practices with each other. Make sure you’re there this year!” Dave Ferguson: President, Exponential. Book now and bring your team before the best deals go! 13-15th November at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester Leaders from across the world are gathering for LAUNCH Church Multiplication Catalyst in partnership with Exponential where we learn to multiply disciples, leaders and churches in Europe and beyond.


UK church is declining like crazy. There’ll be you and a cat by 2030. And the cat’s leaving. Is anybody else not alright with this?

I just had time to read a recent short paper on church membership  and attendance by the wizard of stats, Dr Peter Brierley and I am DISTURBED! He does the church in the UK a great service by holding a mirror up to us in terms of how things really are, though I suspect the reflection is such an ugly one most leaders will take a glance, then look away quickly and go back to business as usual. The paper relates as I say to measuring church membership and attendance. He starts off by saying that attendance – ‘bums on seats’ is not of course the only thing we want to measure and I agree, though often it’s the leaders who are putting the most people off church who voice that argument most strongly. We make ourselves feel better by finding other ways people are ‘connecting’ with church because they are not coming any more. Membership is harder to define because some churches may set a high bar for membership (I think we do at Ivy) whereas in other churches […]


7 Steps To Create A Missional Culture – Dave Ferguson

Great session from Dave today at the Growing To The Next Level gathering at Kingsgate Church, Peterborough – and I suspect the seven steps below could be adapted for many  things you might want to change in a church, organisation or business  This is not just about having some missional practices (like BELLS or BLESS) – but how do you create and sustain a missional culture? We’re on a journey with that at Community Church, Chicago. We want a Come and See environment (Near) But also Go and Tell. (Far) MC + MP = MM Multiplying Churches plus Missional People = Missional Movement 7 steps to create a missional culture Name it – we are not where we need to be. This cannot stay the same! Brand it – do the hard work of making hard things to do simple to understand. Give the people a clear understanding of the problem, the mission, and clear missional practices. Do it! YOU are the culture creator. You will reproduce who are, and get the culture you deserve. When you can say ‘I am […]


Announcing LAUNCH – a catalyst for planting churches and growing leaders

Last year 250 leaders from a phenomenal number of streams joined us from around the world to fill the venue in Media City for our Exponential Conversation.  This November (14-15th, with a pre-con in Salford for church leaders only the day before) we are growing into a much larger venue for 800 to join us for LAUNCH. We are grateful that the conference is sponsored by Compassion UK and the additional workshops by Stewardship. Our partners list now includes RCCG, New Wine, Salvation Army, Fresh Expressions, The Message, NewThing, Forge and Broadcast! BOOK NOW! Take advantage of the great deals on prices now, even better for teams by clicking HERE. Watch the video and share it with others who believe the best is yet to come for the church in Europe HERE   


You Can Build A Ship, But You Can’t Make The Wind Blow. Matt Chandler

My notes from a stand out talk from this year’s Exponential West 2016; At conferences, you see the speakers up there, like they have something special going on, and then there’s’ little old me.’  Like they have these great big ocean liners and you’re in your little rowboat. But that’s not what matters. We can all aim to implement great practices; we can try to build that a bigger, better ship.  But… we can’t make the wind blow.  We can gather, we can motivate, but we can’t transform.  We are so much in need of the Holy Spirit to blow that wind, in the hope that we move forward. We must not think though, that He isn’t a magical genie in a lamp that you simply rub and it will happen! What we can do is look at the place where the wind blows. If we position ourselves where the wind has a tendency to blow, it will happen. Amid the books, the conferences or podcasts we can all think ‘the Church needs Tim Keller, or someone…’ but he put Keller […]