For healthy churches to be reproductive (become natural church planting churches), the book-of-Acts- Christian-ministry mindset must be developed. Keller says this requires the adoption of several principles:
First, the ability to give away and lose control of money, members and leaders. This presents a huge barrier for churches. Often, church leaders cannot bear the thought of losing money-giving families or key leaders or favorite friends. When a pastor helps organize new churches from his own church body, he loses money, members, numbers, leaders, and control. In addition, when a pastor lets go, he loses direct control while also assuming responsibility for problems in the project, a possibly unpleasant combination...
Second, the ability to give up some control of the shape of the ministry itself. This is a scary premise, especially to ardent truth-lovers. But the simple fact is that the new church will not look just like your church; it will develop its own voice and emphases. On the one hand, pains must be taken to ensure that differences are not too great (or fellowship and cooperation will become strained). But on the other hand, church planting cannot take place in the context of cloning. If a church insists upon reproducing an exact duplicate of itself, or if it is not willing to admit the necessity and reality of gospel contextualization (in that different generations and cultures will produce a different kind of church), then that church cannot engage in church planting.
Third, the ability to care for the kingdom more than for your tribe. Basically, the church planting mindset is not so much a matter of trusting new leaders but trusting God. Paul does not give the new churches up to themselves or others. He committed them to the Lord.
In the above I was struck by the repetition of key phrases, "give away...lose control...losing...letting go...give up...care for the kingdom more than your tribe..." Is it any wonder we do not see more CPMs in our midst? We want control, we try to control, we are control-type people. But CPM is about surrendering over to the Lord these aspects of who gets the credit, who is in control. It is an understanding that it is about HIS kingdom, not our kingdoms.
My dream is to see God's people mobilized into the harvest fields by the thousands. I strongly feel the role of apostles (missionaries), prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers is to prepare the saints for harvest work. Can you imagine what would happen if even a third of those who profess themselves to be followers of Christ would actually OBEY what He commanded in Matthew 28 and truly go out and begin to make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe the commands and instructions of Christ? But we have quite the contrary mentality in our churches. The idea is to keep people happy and content with church life--that which takes place in the four walls of the church building. Yes, we do a lot of good things, but are we fogetting to make the "main thing the main thing?"