October 5, 2016 Emily Van Vranken

J.D. Greear & Rick Warren at Exponential West 2016 on the Tension of Measurement

We tuned into the Exponential West 2016 live webcast this afternoon for session three, Tension of Measurement. This session explored the on-going tension between a "growing vs sending" mentality in the life of the church. Here's a recap in case you missed it.

We tuned into the Exponential West 2016 live webcast this afternoon for session three, Tension of Measurement. This session explored the on-going tension between a “growing vs sending” mentality in the life of the church. Here’s a recap in case you missed it.

J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church, kicked off the session by stating that the “sending capacity” of a church matters more than its “seating capacity.” Churches that have a strong “sending capacity” have embraced the power of multiplication. They’re focused on raising up leaders that plant churches, that then plant more churches. 

He touched on three things that multiplication requires of leaders:

  • Confident sacrifice

    Multiplication often calls you to send out your best. There can be a sense of panic in letting good leaders go, but real growth takes place when you’re willing to open up your hand and give away.

  • Kingdom selflessness

    Greear challenged that “God has called you to an altar, not a platform.” In order to send out your best to lead in other places, you have to care more about growing the Kingdom of God than growing your own kingdom.

  • Risky faith

    There’s an abundance of power that gets left on the table when we fail to live by faith. You have to be willing to risk the best of what God has given your church and then trust Him to provide the rest.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, followed J.D.’s talk by emphasizing that there needs to be a balance of growing and sending in churches.

He gave a few key elements to building a balanced church:

  • Change the way you count

    Realize that the success of your church shouldn’t be measured solely based on the number of people who attend.

  • Begin with the end in mind

    Build the multiplication DNA in your church from the start. Warren shared that there’s “no shame in being a small church, but there is shame in having no vision.”

  • Have a system

    Churches need to have a system in place for the multiplication process to happen. He challenged that bringing people in and sending them out is not enough. You need to build them up and teach them how as well. A clear system will help you do that. 

Main take-away from session three: Churches need to care about sending as much as they do about growing.


We believe what you measure shows what matters to you. That’s why we’re always encouraging churches to track metrics that measure church health in its many facets. If you’re interested in measuring more effectively, check out Tony’s eBook, Vital Signs: Meaningful Metrics That Keep a Pulse on Your Church’s Health. You can get a free copy here:

Get Free Copy of Vital Signs eBook

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Emily Van Vranken

Emily is a marketing and communications intern with The Unstuck Group. She graduated from Grove City College with a degree in Communication Studies. She has previously interned in both nonprofit and church settings, and is passionate about people, art and writing.
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