Expanding the kingdom of God by planting more churches. Replication enables the church to fulfill the Gospel Commission. This is when an ascending church becomes a sending church.

Why do we do evangelism and witness to our neighbors and friends? Because we want them to know Jesus as Savior and Friend, of course! But is there more to it than that? Yes! We do these things to enable the replication of the local church.

The Apostle Paul’s Church Growth Plan

Paul planted churches in Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, and many other places during his missionary journeys. His church planting efforts established a presence for the gospel all around the Mediterranean. These small, local churches followed the plan of replication and were soon planting other churches. The church grew from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the end of the earth.

Mega Church or Church Planting?

God is calling Seventh-day Adventist churches to take their internal and external growth efforts to the next level—beyond our community borders. We are divinely counseled, “Place after place is to be visited; church after church is to be raised up” (Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 353). Our churches are to be beacons of light in every community. Christians were never meant to congregate in mega churches. Small churches scattered around the globe are much more effective. 

If we choose to congregate instead of replicate, we will find we are fighting against God’s growth plan. If we aren’t willing to replicate then everything we do will end up simply maintaining the status quo. That’s not God’s goal.

Our Seventh-day Adventist Calling

The SDA movement has replicated into a global church that reaches millions. Our goal is the world, not just our community, but when we seek to reach the world we will also reach the community. As we teach new members how to be disciples, we’ll have more hands on deck and be able to plant additional churches as we head towards the end of the earth.

In 1874 Ellen White had an impressive dream of giving the third angel’s message to the world. In it, she was told, “You are entertaining too limited ideas of the work for this time. You are trying to plan the work so that you can embrace it in your arms. You must take broader views. Your light must not be put under a bushel or under a bed, but on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. Your house is the world. . .” (Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 208).

It’s Time to Replicate

The replication phase is the culmination of the first three phases. It is both the natural–and intentional–result of education, organization, and dissemination. By this time the church should be united, working together smoothly, and growing spiritually and in membership. Trained disciples and empowered leaders are ready to be sent out as a team to intentionally repeat the process that has been established in the original congregation. The original church becomes a mother church, strategically planting churches in unreached areas. The goal of this phase is for each daughter church to become self-sustaining, self-governing, and self-propagating. This is the essential–and exciting–conclusion to the church growth process.

    1. Biblical principles at work: All five RENEW principles (reflection, empowerment, nurture, evangelism and witness. 
    2. Type of growth produced: Sustained, long-term growth.

Ready to start preparing for replication?

Subscribe to the RENEW Church Growth mailing list today to begin growing.