Over the past several blogs we’ve explored the need for church multiplication vs church addition; but to accomplish multiplication we need to fundamentally redefine church; and once redefined, we need to transition from an elephant church model to a rabbit church model.
How do we achieve all this? With Gatherers. Gatherers are the “go to” answer to the questions raised here and the foundation of the GSE process we teach.
My Field Team (Thanks Jason, Matt, Tom, Lee, Jon and Mike) recently gave me their top observations about Gatherers, based on their field experience and exegetical insight. Consider their insights carefully:
Gatherers don’t always see themselves as Gatherers, though others see it clearly.
Gatherers are the greatest missing component and the most needed in the church today.
The Scriptures show that Jesus used Gatherers in the sight of His disciples, not necessarily to make the disciples Gatherers, but to show that their ministry would be incumbent upon them.
Who is a Gatherer?
A Gatherer is not determined by a certification or education. Gatherers are born that way and can grow as Gatherers. Organizations will struggle if they try to educate people to gather.
Gatherers exist but often must be made aware of their mission.
Gatherers should absolutely be focused on gathering and nothing else. Gatherers who are tasked with anything else will stop gathering to some degree. It is important to keep them focused on their mission.
Churches who see gathering merely as a helpful function of church planting fail to see that gathering to mission is what Jesus is all about (Matthew 12:30). If gathering doesn’t take priority, scattering will.
Finding a Gatherer begins with prayer (and fasting) “that the Lord of the harvest would send workers into His field” (Luke 10:2).
Gatherers often invite you onto their turf. Accept the invitation and don’t drag them back to your turf. Dive in. Accept their hospitality (Luke 10:6-7).
Don’t disqualify a Gatherer based upon his spiritual journey. He may not yet be a disciple of Jesus. Your job is to disciple the Gatherer—not to do his job of gathering. He are better at it than you are. Plan on a long-term commitment to him and don’t become easily distracted. Don’t go house to house (Luke 10:7).
A Gatherer has all the necessary gifts but needs direction and focus.
A Gatherer needs a shepherd at some point in the process to keep the gathered together.
While we can all be gathering, some people have the gift of Gathering which is evident once you see it in action.
Gatherers make things happen naturally. Things generally stop happening when a Gatherer stops gathering.
Gatherers often don’t know what to do with their gift for Jesus. They need to be pointed in the right direction. Some Gatherers don’t even know Jesus yet, and that’s OK.
Gatherers can be any age, any gender (male or female), or of any educational level.
The power Gatherers bring to the table is incredible.
A Gatherer, an Evangelist and a Person of Peace are different people with different giftings and different purposes. Any attempt to amalgamate them will nullify their effectiveness.
What if we intentionally engaged Gatherers?
How can Gatherers provide a new spiritual metric to gauge the success or effectiveness of our work?
Is it incumbent upon us to engage Gatherers? They are all around us. Do we see them? Do we know what to look for?
Would you like to know more about Gatherers and the GSE Process? Let’s talk.