Recently, my friends at Exponential introduced a new resource for church leaders that I believe will be invaluable for the church as we continue to focus on healthy kingdom multiplication.
The Becoming 5 Assessment Tool is the first of its kind to give churches a good read on how they're doing with becoming a church that grows by multiplying itself (multiplication growth)—and not just adding attendees (addition growth).
The concept is simple. Register for a free account at becomingfive.org, answer the multiple-choice questions at your convenience (probably about 30 minutes to compete) and then review your results. Based on your responses, the assessment provides you with your church's multiplication profile (Levels 1-5) and multiplication pattern.
The multiplication profile is based on five cultures of multiplication that Exponential has identified:
- Level 1 (subtraction, survival or scarcity mode)
- Level 2 (plateaued, survival and tension between scarcity and growth)
- Level 3 (growing by addition but not multiplication)
- Level 4 (reproducing)
- Level 5 (multiplying, releasing and sending)
(To read detailed examples of the five profiles, download the FREE e-book Becoming a Level 5 Multiplying Church by Todd Wilson and Dave Ferguson at exponential.org/becomingfive.)
The multiplication pattern you receive along with your profile offers you a snapshot of where your church has been, where you currently are, and where you'd like to go. Exponential says that most churches will test into seven core patterns: aspiring, advancing, breakout, reproducing, addition, survivor and recovery. For example, a 1-1-5 score reflects an "aspiring" pattern representing a church that has Level 1 behaviors in the past (1) and present (1), but aspires to be a Level 5 church in the coming years (5). A 3-4-5 "reproducing" pattern represents steady progress toward Level 5.
If you're wondering, the Becoming 5 Assessment Tool has gone through rigorous evaluation, analysis and testing, including early review from a team of national leaders, followed by a survey evaluation with 75 other leaders, investment in a professional developer of assessment tools and beta testing.
A few things to note:
- The initial version of the assessment tool is contextualized for U.S. churches, but some international contexts may also benefit. The tool can be easily adapted in the future to include additional international contexts.
- Becoming 5 focuses only on a church's sending capacity and is not intended to evaluate a church's capacity to make disciples. Exponential says a second assessment tool for measuring a church's discipleship capacity is forthcoming.
I like what my friend and Exponential Director Todd Wilson says: "Discipleship has to be at the core of multiplication, but just because you put it at the core doesn't mean your church is multiplying. Jesus spent three years building 12 disciples that were able to spring into action and build His church."
It is assumed that approximately 80 percent of churches in the United States are at Levels 1 and 2 (subtracting or plateaued), with 20 percent at Levels 3-4 (and virtually 0 percent at Level 5). Of the 20 percent who are adding, it is estimated that less than 4 percent are reproducing at Level 4.
Moving beyond the 4 percent requires each of us as leaders to look candidly at how we're doing with multiplication, identify the tensions keeping us from Levels 4 and 5 and then develop a plan to wrestle with these tensions and move forward.
I highly encourage you to take the assessment, and I encourage your team to engage as well. Jesus' Great Commission to His disciples will only be carried out through the multiplication of His church.
Note: If you're a ministry leader, consider linking the assessment on your website. For more information, click here.
Brandon Cox has been a pastor for 15 years and is currently planting a church in northwest Arkansas, a Saddleback-sponsored church. He also serves as editor of pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox, and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders. He's also the author of Rewired: Using Technology to Share God's Love.
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