Life is a great deal easier for those that don’t. Like a couple with no desire for kids there is little pressure, fewer problems, lots of disposable income and free time. Yet as the years go by it also becomes apparent there is no heritage. It is the end of the line. Most house churches contain the seeds of their own destruction the first day they start. By nature or nurture you believe you are destined to reproduce or you don’t believe that. Neutered or fruitful, it is in your DNA. Reproductive capacity is predictable based on your observable core values. Here are my observations that contrast these two types that will predict reproduction. House churches that do not multiply: *The group is living in reaction to having observed some big-box church’s shallow evangelism and marketing that fueled church growth, concluding that the passion to multiply is rooted in shallow motivations. *The boast is for quality over quantity. Sadly these “high quality” members are unwilling or unequipped to do anything different. *Evangelism and church multiplication is supposed to happen “naturally” and “by the Spirit”. Planning, action and intentionality is suspect and viewed as an imposition on the group. *There is a futuristic vision of church multiplication that is always “just around the corner” and it tied to just “one more thing”. Tomorrow never quite comes. *A perfectionism that says “We are not ready yet”. We must first learn or do or be this or that. These groups are never ready. *A clingy or worse yet, a controlling leader who views church multiplication as a loss of control. Insecure pastors that require the doting and dependence of their supporters must keep everyone close. *They fear the loss or disruption of close friendships. If we multiply we won’t see each other. These folks apparently don’t have phones or cars. *The group is consumed by an “error by emphasis”. Some errors are simply bad theology. Neglecting a practice of doctrine because preoccupation with other teaching emphases creates a lopsided house church. Hobby horses never reproduce into race horses. *Some house churches are cozy, isolated and like it that way. “Us four and no more, shut the door”. What Great Commission? *There is no apostolic leadership either from within or from without. This group lacks the influence of leaders that envision, motivate, model and lead them into the harvest and multiplication. Pastors and teachers need the counter balance of evangelists and apostles. The ‘stay” ministries need the “go” ministries. House Churches that multiply have these characteristics: *Reproduction and planting is always discussed, dreamed, strategized and celebrated. *Risk is embraced as a logical consequence of faith and vision. *Apostolic leadership for vision and strategy is embraced by everyone in the house church. Apostles are fewer in number compared to the other Five-Fold ministries of Ephesians 4:11 yet apostles are to have preeminence “…first apostles, secondly prophets, third teachers…” (1 Corinthians 12:28) *Leadership training with a view towards preparing planters is in place. This may be informal mentoring with lots of reading or it may be a formal and a bit more academic in a larger network. In either case there are hands-on leadership experience opportunities with oversight and feedback. This is not accidental. *Reproducing groups normally promote connection among other house churches. This assures relationships have an opportunity to continue. Staying connected as part of a network with a city-wide vision and structure keeps lives intertwined. *Great Commission training keeps the group evangelistic and motivated towards the harvest. Rehearsing propositional truth and practicing one’s testimony is a great start. *Luke 10:2 is valued and prayed, “the Lord of the Harvest will send out laborers into the harvest”. My iPhone’s alarm is set for 10:02 every am and pm. This is important. *Reproducing groups pray. When you fellowship with God He shapes your heart. A God-shaped heart gives itself to the harvest and planting. “Here I am! Send me!” *Leaders and stakeholders read and study about mission and planting: T4T, Robert Coleman’s “Master Plan of Evangelism”, Felicity Dale’s “Getting Started”, “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” and George Patterson’s “Church Multiplication Guide”. Leaders are readers. The healthy house church environment is the womb for reproduction where planting and dreams begin. There is an adventure and significance that could be yours. Getting there is neither the short, nor the easy path It is, though, clearly the best road for the church.