Church planting movements will be organic

Yesterday I continued my reflections on church panting movements by suggesting that they require a pattern of church which is reproducible. This, I think, involves a number of factors. The first is …

Church planting movements will be organic

The metaphors of spiritual and missional growth in the New Testament almost all organic: yeast, seed and so on. While movements cannot be planned, their DNA can be implanted. Alan Hirsch talks about them being ‘sneezed’: they spread like viruses.

It is remarkable that in biological systems each cell carries the full coding of the whole organism. And even though one specific type of cell in an organism, say, a muscle or brain cell, usually only refers to a small portion of the genetic code for its own structure, it has the whole deal locked away inside it. The whole organism can be reproduced from one single cell. So I come to believe that every church, indeed every Christians, if truly birthed in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, has the full coding of [missional] DNA.

The role of leaders, therefore is culture creation and disciple-making. The role of leaders is to implant the DNA in every believer. The forest is in the seed; a complete human body is in the DNA; the fire is in the spark. Discipling is therefore the core activity of church planting. Then we have the ingredients for a ‘gospel epidemic’.

Neil Cole says: ‘We started articulating this profound goal for Church Multiplication Associates: “We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple.”‘

This means one-on-one time. Never do anything alone.


Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church (Brazos Press, 1986), 77, 86, 211.

Neil Cole, Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens (Jossey-Bass, 2005), 26.


One thought on “Church planting movements will be organic

  1. “We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the thoughts.

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