The Well is located in Ionia, MI and is a plant out of Impact Church led by Dr. Ed Love. Shortly after The Well launched by meeting in a daycare center, First Baptist Church of Ionia felt called to offer their building to The Well. This historical monument in downtown Ionia has been renovated to reflect the methods and style of ministry of The Well.
Jim Dunn - Welcome to the 2015 Multiplication Summit
Dr. Jim Dunn welcomed everyone to the Summit as he is the director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship. If I understand it correctly, Church Multiplication (The Nitrogen Network led by Phil Struckmeyer) is under the umbrella of CMAD.
Dr. Dunn essentially shared with us what he shared in this blog post. To break it down in the simplest of ways:
Jesus loves you and He will use you. Enjoy that.
Phil Struckmeyer - Vision
Next, Phil shared his welcome and vision for the conference. The idea behind the Multiplication Summit is a convening of multipliers to solve the issue we are having with only a 5% increase in churches each year as a denomination. We are closing 40-60 local churches each year and we are barely keeping our heads above water to replace them with growing, multiplication-minded bodies.
Can we meet in a way that actually changes how things are being done? In 1776 a nation was formed out of a convening.
So Phil asks "why?" For 10% growth we will need to plant 150 churches each year. Where is our 120? While we believe in churches planting churches, we aren't living it as a reality. The mandate of the local church since the beginning was multiplication. Instead of our districts championing multiplication, it should be each individual family of faith.
The new goal then is creating a 5, 10, or 30 vision for our context. How do we multiply by 5, 10, 30 in the coming years?
As local churches become established, they get distracted by their "foundness" But we need to realize the lostness of the world and let it overwhelm us into action.
Each local church must take on the resources and core teams to multiply themselves. We don't have enough church planters sitting on the sidelines to do it that way. We don't have the money lying around to do it that way. If just 40 churches asked God for a 5, 10, 30 vision, what would happen?
The first plenary speaker at The Well was Dr. Ed Love, lead pastor and planter of the church.
While attending Asbury Seminary, Ed felt called to plant a church. After serving as a youth pastor in Jackson, MI for awhile Ed found himself moving toward his dream via the inspiration of Mark Gorveatte and Phil Struckmeyer. And so Ed had the opportunity to plant Epic and now The Well. It is possible Ed has planted other churches, but I am fuzzy on that. Suggest an edit in the comments!
Ed's primary point was that fishing in the Ancient Near East was done with nets, not lines. In the same way, we ought not fish for people alone, but in community with one another. This is why Ed and others have fostered the Greenhouse Network.