048: Send Your Superstars

Tom O'Toole is part of the team that leads Christ Church Manchester, and he manages the Broadcast Network. In this episode of the podcast, Tom tells the story of how CCM transitioned from growing a regional church to pioneering a multiplying church planting movement, and looks at how the church in Antioch in the book of Acts were called to give up what they couldn't afford to lose by sending the apostles Barnabas and Paul out as travelling church planting missionaries.


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Going For Big

  • Many leaders like the idea of multiplication but don't think they are currently ready to do it.
  • This could be down to lack of people, lack of finance or lack of leaders.
  • The assumption is that a church needs to get big before it is ready to multiply.
  • Many church leaders are enamoured by the 'big church dream' - which is always focussed on seeing the church get just a bit bigger than it is now.

A Pivotal Moment For CCM

  • By 2009, Christ Church Manchester had grown to around 50 people meeting in Hyde Town Hall and was well poised to grow into an influential regional church.
  • However, the initial vision had never been just to set up a regional church but to impact all of Greater Manchester by planting 20 churches throughout the area. 
  • East Manchester was notoriously de-churched, and in order to reach it, CCM would need to recruit some missionaries. 
  • The church was willing to lay down the dream of a big regional church in order to see a church planting movement sweep the city.
  • At the same time, Tim Simmonds lived in Birmingham and was being woken by God in the night with dreams of planting a church among the students of Manchester. 
  • CCM emptied the bank account and hired Tim - and in doing so started a church planting movement!

Sending Your Superstars - Antioch

  • In Acts 13, the church in Antioch is well established and has a leadership team that includes the apostles Barnabas and Saul.
  • As the leaders gather to worship and pray, the Holy Spirit leads them to send out both Barnabas and Saul.
  • There would have been lots of opportunities for ministry in the city had these two gifted apostles been based there - sending them out meant  laying down these opportunities.
  • To start a church planting movement that swept through the Mediterranean, this was worth it. 
  • What would you be willing to lay down to start a church planting movement? What wouldn't you be willing to lay down?