The Red Letter Disciple Episode 4

004: Dave Ferguson on Church Planting in America Today

Church planting is the future of Christianity. This is why Dave Ferguson is so passionate about reaching his goal of seeing 16% of churches in America be either a reproducing or a multiplying a church. Dave also helps us see as individuals how we can love our neighbors well.

Season 1 of The Red Letter Disciple Podcast could not have been possible without our friends from The Giving Church. Did you know 45% of those that give to church give $200 or less in a year? The potential to increase giving is certainly in your church and The Giving Church can help you unleash greater generosity. Go on over to and download a FREE PDF for how to grow your church’s giving!

Resources mentioned in the episode: 

Dave Ferguson website

Community Christian Church

New Thing

Exponential Conference

Pete Craig Alpha Craig course

Bless Book by Dave Ferguson

Key insights from the episode: Dave Ferguson

Exponential Conference’s mission is to get 16% of the churches in North America to be level 4 (a planted church) or level 5 (reproducing churches.

Current Landscape of American churches:

  • 35% declining
  • 35% plateau
  • 30% growing

The five different levels of church growth: 1) a church in decline, 2) a plateau 3) growing 4) reproducing church planting 5) multiplying: church multiplying itself. Usually, people only think of the first three levels of growth, but the goal ought to be level 4 and level 5. – Dave Ferguson

In order to get to level 4 or 5, you have to reproduce micro before macro. Make disciples inside the church before you can recruit disciples outside of the church.Dave Ferguson

Overseas churches are rapidly reproducing disciples. Part of the reason we don’t see that same growth in the United States is that we can’t figure out how to multiply disciples.Dave Ferguson

India and Africa are growing the fastest because they are planting the gospel and making disciples, not worrying about the logistics of the church. There it is less about the production and more about the relationship. – Dave Ferguson

When Dave gets it right, the practice he does to stay focused is his RPMs through Journaling: Read, Prayer, and Meditation.

Prayer doesn’t always need to start with talking, but with silence and meditation. Create space for the Holy Spirit to move. – Dave Ferguson

The 5 steps on how to love your neighbor (BLESS)

  • Begin with Prayer
  • Listen
  • Eat
  • Serve
  • Story

Dave’s Challenge of the Week: Have an “I See In You (ICNU)” conversation with someone. Encourage someone close to you and speak a blessing over them.

(Example: I see in you, Chris, a future on a video in Exponential Conference.)

Lead yourself (and your church) to be more like Jesus. Red Letter Challenge

For so many Christians, the discipleship process isn’t very clear.

They know they need to go to church, pray, not sin, and maybe attend a small group. While these are great things, they don’t outline a clear path leading people to live more like Jesus. 

We’d love to introduce you to the 40-Day Red Letter Challenge.

When you and your church take the challenge, you’ll have a clear 40-day discipleship path that will help you master five key areas of discipleship.

You can learn more about the challenge here!

Some not-so-key insights:

Top Parenting Tip: DON’T LET YOUR KIDS WIN. Hang on to every bit of athleticism as long as you can, because you will eventually lose to them. – Zach Zehnder

Most speakers really enjoy being parodied at Exponential Conference. – Dave Ferguson

Bohemian Rhapsody was sung to Max Lucado, which frazzled Lucado so much that he gave the wrong talk.

Francis Chan has the largest hands to frame ratio. 

Dave Ferguson’s disaster attempt at discipleship was verbally assaulting people at Applebee’s.

Chris is high charisma, but low intelligence.

Watch the entire season for free: 

We’ll be uploading every episode of season one of The Red Letter Disciple on our YouTube Channel. If you aren’t subscribed already, you can do so here!

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