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May 31, 2006


Glenn Smith

Good question! Cloning is done by groups who think their particular model is the "right" model, thus every church should look like them. People who have this mindset do not understand the complexity and diversity of North America and the world! Every church should be unique to reach a unique context/people group!

Kevin Colon

In our context (Denver/Boulder) 'cloning' is actually a good thing...(although I agree it seems a little cocky.)

Because it takes so much longer to build trust and relationships here especially with people outside of the faith, a church that has established a good reputation planting a church that has similar DNA and packaging actually could work. The community trusts the 'brand' and is more likely to try out the different branches around the city.

And that's the key....'around the city.' The 'momma church' has to have success in their context reaching their people. To take that to a new place (culture, people, style) seems less effective to me.

Pathways church in Denver (who has NW connections) is doing this well.

I guess the bottom line for me is that we need churches of every kind everywhere....and if the clones are kicking butt for the Empire (I'm sounding way too Star Wars here) more power to them!

Matt Grube

Although I would not say I am against cloning a particular church, I would say that I do not think cloning is the most effective way to reach a variety of people. Usually when a church clones it reaches the exact same kind of person just a few miles away. Meanwhile, people of different ethnic groups, experiences, tribes, and cultures are left out. This would be fine if we had many different types of churches that clone. The problem as I see it is that we do not have that. Most of the churches that are into cloning reach the same type of people all across the US...white, suburban, republican, middle-class people. What about the Hispanics? What about the addicts? What about the Liberals? What abut the many more people these church clones are NOT reaching? Unfortunately, in my opinion I don't think too many people are losing sleep over it.

John Worcester

We need all kinds of churches for all kinds of people. No one type church fits all, but since the same type of person lives in different locations, than very similar types of churches can be planted to reach them.

Some leaders have the gifts to create new prototopes of church that effectively reach new groups, and they should do so. Others do better reproducing a basic model with appropriate contextualizations.

I my opinion cloning a rather negative way of describing what some are sensing leaddership from God to do. I say let's affirm all types of church planting and not look down on those who do it differently then we do.


I like the idea of Church Franchising as long as it fits the context of the church’s area. Take for example, Fellowship Church in Grapevine. They have successfully Franchised 3 Churches off the Mother Church (And I do mean Mother Church). None of these churches are more than 1 hour away from the Mother Church, and all have the same demographics. Yet, they are extremely successful in meeting a specific demographics spiritual need. So, don’t hate. It works for some areas. I don’t think it matters so much how a church is doing church (albeit: planting, birthing, franchising, multi-site)in a specific area, but is the area being Churched? We must move beyond the my model/ your model mentality to see the greater need of Churching an Area.

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