Adopt or Plant?

Movements of churches tend to emphasize adoptions or new church plants, but rarely can you do both on a significant scale and be successful.  Here is the challenge: whatever existing churches you adopt under your brand, you need to manage. It’s an matter of alignment. If the churches you adopt do not have the same leadership style, ministry philosophy, core values and vision, there will be dilution or conflict, or both.   One pastor here in South Africa confided in me, “Our movement adopted a large network of churches in Kenya. I deeply regret doing so. We inherited a lot of leadership problems that have cost us huge amounts of time and finances. We met some wonderful people in the process, but it has shaped who we are as a movement in ways we did not want.”   Know what you are called to do, and do that well, but don’t try to mix the two approaches. Those who are called to birth and build apostolic movements should be super-cautious about adopting existing churches they did not plant. Every adopted church brings with it a set of expectations, needs, and values that may be incompatible with your calling to focus on “building on no other mans foundation.”