David Garrison, in his book "Church Planting Movements" (which I thoroughly recommend) talks about the deadly sins of church planting. One of these is sequentialism. So what is this, and why is it so "deadly"?
Sequentialism is the idea that things have to be done in order. First we do this, then we do that. One of the common mistakes that existing Christians make when starting an organic/house church is this. They decide that the first thing they are going to do is develop community. When they have done that, they will think about reaching out to the world around them.
The result of this kind of thinking?
- Once some community has formed, they start to run into problems, so they don't feel they can add other people.
- The fellowship becomes so deep and meaningful that they really don't want to interrupt it by adding others.
- Even if they start adding others with the intention of splitting into two when they get too large, (probably the slowest way to multiply), often it has taken a gifted leader to get them to that size and no one feels qualified to do something similar.
No, if you want to see multiplication, do things simultaneously. Just as soldiers in battle develop a camaraderie that nothing else is likely to equal, when Christians join together in a task, their fellowship deepens. If we want to see our communities reached for Christ, let's deliberately reach out right from the start.