Any investment advisor will counsel you to diversify assets.
Holding all your marbles in one bag leaves you vulnerable if you should lose that bag. Centralizing your financial investments creates the same risk. We must diversify to protect whatever we possess.
Yet in church, we tend to gather rather than scatter. Americans, in particular, seem enthralled with gathering people in the name of Christ rather than scattering them. This not only runs contrary to the great commission, it doesn’t make good policy.
Our goal is for every church we plant to carry reproductive DNA. We want each new congregation to expect God to provide opportunity to launch another church within the first two years of their life.
The Jerusalem church failed to do this. Jesus told his apostles to move from Jerusalem to Samaria to Judea and finally to the ends of the earth. Yet nine years later, they were still camped out in Jerusalem. Their numbers were huge, but they weren’t reproducing. It took the persecution of Saul to initiate church multiplication.
I’m always interested to read that the first place outside of Jerusalem to hear the gospel was Samaria. It’s also interesting that it was a “deacon” rather than an apostle who took the message that short distance.
Protecting the Movement
Ironically, the efforts of Saul before and after his conversion ensured the continuation of the movement long after it lost viability in Jerusalem.
As a persecutor, he diversified the investment of assets (people) across the Mediterranean world. As a Christ-follower, he aggressively made disciples and planted churches across the Roman world. He even tried to take the message into Spain.
The result was that the loss of strength in Jerusalem had little effect. Even the eventual loss of the church in Ephesus, among the seven churches of Revelation, was negligible to the overall movement
If you are a church planter, are you instilling reproductive DNA in your most productive leaders? Are you a gatherer or a scatterer? Do you diversify your assets? It would be wise to do so …