A few more lessons from Africa

A few more lessons from Oscar Muriu on growing leaders for a church planting movement. . .

Take bold steps. Breaking up a vibrant, healthy church into five separate churches could be a recipe for disaster. Not if you've intentionally growing leaders and team members for every ministry of the church who are ready for the challenge. This was a bold step but it took years of preparation.

Set impossible goals. Oscar and his leaders worked out what they could reasonably achieve then added room for God to do the impossible. If they thought they could plant sixty churches in Kenya, they added the challenge of planting elsewhere in Africa. Then they threw in the challenge of planting churches off the continent of Africa. Their faith inspired plans that stretched their faith, and built their faith when those plans were achieved.

Ask. Oscar doesn't wait until someone volunteers. He goes after people. The right people. David Githugu was thinking about a career as a corporate lawyer when he was tapped on the shoulder. Now he's planted a church that is growing leaders and planting churches.

Begin with the end in mind. Oscar started his ministry at Nairobi Chapel with the intention of planting churches. He started with the need not what was possible. Once the goal was clear he discovered ways to achieve it.

Spin that flywheel. Oscar could have just a grown a big church bigger. He could have spun off new congregations dependent on his ministry. But that's addition, not multiplication. Instead he chose to grow leaders who could plant churches that grow leaders and plant churches. As the founder, Oscar is not in direct control. He's given room for the leaders he's developed to step up. I wonder which model is closer to the ministry of Jesus?

Use them or lose them. Oscar saw the frustration building as the number of leaders increased at Nairobi. Frustration could easily turn to criticism. Left unchecked, he knew he would eventually lose key leaders who were under-challenged. Church planting provided a healthy outlet for leaders with energy and drive to pioneer something new.