A couple years ago I got a really cool opportunity to speak at a leadership conference at Onnuri Church in Seoul, South Korea. To make it even “cooler” Erwin McManus was the other speaker and we got to hang out all week. One comment he made about Community Christian Church has really stuck with me. He said, “Dave, Community Christian Church is not so much a multi-site church as it is a church that has found a way to reproduce an apostolic ethos”.
Ethos has to do with establishing culture; it is the spontaneous repeating behavior patterns of a group. Apostolic has to to with going and sending to accomplish the Jesus mission. If you put those together he was suggesting that CCC becoming a multi-site was the natural outgrowth of a church that has a culture where you repeatedly go and send people out to accomplish the Jesus mission.
Ever since that conversation I have much, much preferred the term “reproducing church” over “mutli-site church”. Multi-site only refers to one dimension of how we reproduce through go and sending people. In addition to reproducing sites we reproduce on a smaller scale too: leaders, artists, groups, teams and celebration services. And we also reproduce on a larger scale as well: churches and now we are reproducing networks!