By Daniel Im: One of the greatest ways to prohibit movement is to under-structure and over-institutionalize yourself to the point your church cannot bear any more weight.
Many churches scratch their heads wondering why their numbers from year to year stay relatively the same while they can look at their records and see that many guests came through the door. For many churches, the reason why people fail to stay isn’t a ministry issue; it’s a structural issue. They simply don’t have the structure in place to see reproduction and eventually multiplication. Just as chairs are designed to support a certain amount of weight, so too church structures are designed to handle a certain amount of people. Sadly, most churches don’t realize they are perfectly designed to stay right where they are.
What if your church runs 80 adults and every one of those 80 invited a friend the next week? Does your church have the structure to accommodate them? What if the 1200 people that attended the Easter egg helicopter drop showed up at your church the following week? Could you accommodate that many new people? When churches live in their small mindedness, they don’t scale their structures to envision and include more people, and as a result movements never ignite.
In addition, many churches (including church plants) are not only practically under-structured for multiplication, but they are organizationally over- institutionalized for multiplication. For many churches, it would take an act of congress to authorize bringing on a church planter for an internship or residency and eventually send him out—not to mention mothering a church plant. It would have to go through this committee, then be heard by this group, and after much prayer and discussion (by both groups) be brought up in the next church business meeting, where it would then be discussed, tossed around, and possibly tabled until the next meeting. After months of discussions, prayer, and deliberation, a topic that was birthed in the heart of God and seen in the pages of Scripture (church planting) finally is approved in the life of the church. Rather than moving at the speed of the Spirit, churches end up moving at the speed of committee…