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Eight Barriers To Multiplication Part 1

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Is something stopping you from starting a new church plant?

In every story and aspect of life, there always seem to be opposing forces. On our planet, you have night and day. In Romeo and Juliet, you have the Capulets and the Montagues. In Star Wars, you have the Rebellion and the Empire. In Marvel, you have the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra. And in life, you have the close talkers, who don’t know what a breath mint is, and everyone else, who seems to have a good handle on personal space and emotional intelligence.

In the same way, we see similar forces when it comes to church multiplication. There are characteristics that lead to multiplication, as well as factors that prevent multiplication. In the same way, there are characteristics that can lead your church to becoming a Level Five church, as well as factors that will prevent that and stall you at Level Two or Three (see below for a chart of the various levels). In this blog post, we will examine barriers that prevent a church from multiplying.

1. Fear

Church planters would do well to heed Paul’s exhortation to Timothy, “...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7). Paul knew that fear of anything other than a healthy reverent fear of the glory and sovereignty of God would prevent believers from fulfilling the call of God. Even Marie Curie, a scientist who won the Nobel Prize multiple times, understood the paralyzing power of fear, which is why she noted, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”

The reality is that the fear of the unknown, of losing friends, of losing tithers, of change, and of failure are all factors that prevent churches from multiplying. For example, fear often drives churches to soothe their growing pains ...

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