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Spark introduced more than 15 different tensions that churches seeking to become multiplying churches will face. In this new book, we’ve grouped these tensions and distilled them down to three key ones all churches will face in moving to Level 5. These tensions include:

Tension of Motives: “Here or There”

This tension is rooted in our definition of success. Is our vision limited to accumulating and growing larger here, or is it balanced with an equal focus and passion for sending there?  This tension is rooted in the values embedded in a church’s DNA. The definition of success that moves a church from Level 1 or 2 (subtracting or plateaued) to Level 3 (addition) reflects a different value system than the one that moves a church to Level 4 and 5. To move through this tension, we must embrace and become passionate about the value of multiplication. We must balance here and there.

Tension of Measures: “Grow or Send”

This tension is rooted in our priority of focus: Where do we focus our time, talent and treasure? Growing here or sending there? The same staff and finances that can help us grow here are the ones needed to send there. As our local platform increases, our capacity for even greater sending grows. Unfortunately, most churches adopt a “we will send after we grow and have the resources” approach. We must balance growing and sending.

Tension of Methods: “Safety or Risk”

What will we actually do (and what hard decisions will we make) to become a Level 5 multiplying church? Good intentions will not move us from Level 1 to 5. We only change by doing what we say we want to do. Until you are able to not only strongly agree with the questions in the multiplication quizzes—but then put them into practice—you will not become a multiplying church.
Whether or not you realize it, you are creating and cultivating a culture in your church. There is no stopping it. Just as the sun rises and sets each day, your core values and convictions are always there, transforming your thinking into actions that functionally form your church’s unique culture. How you face and maneuver through the tensions you experience might be the most significant blessings you have in shaping your church’s culture and DNA.
Like the small rudder on a large ship directing the ship’s course, the stewardship of the culture/DNA in your church may be the most profound role you play as its leader. Tensions are inseparable from the culture you cultivate. Embrace them as a blessing.

What tensions are you experiencing? Drop your comment in the chat below for some good discussion!

Join us at 3pm MT in Classroom 1 when we will meet with Richie Shaw, one of our main stage speakers, and Robert Frazier, who will be hosting today.

We are better together!

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

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