CNLP 169: Dave Ferguson on the Future of Church Growth and the Rapid Multiplication of Church Leaders and Churches

So much has changed and is changing in the church. And the good news is that the future is a much more level playing field than the past.

Exponential President Dave Ferguson talks about the future of church growth, how to develop leaders and why every leader can have a shot at leaving a legacy of new churches in the future.

Welcome to Episode 169 of the podcast.

Guest Links

Dave on Facebook | Dave on Instagram | Dave on Twitter

Check out Dave’s blog and more at

Pre-order Hero Maker, grab free leadership resources, and learn more about Exponential 2018 at

The 5 Million Download Giveaway is here!

The podcast is ready to reach 5 million downloads and we can’t wait to celebrate with you!

All this week we’re giving away free Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts! Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and turn on the notifications for each platform so you don’t miss when the contest posts go live!

And check out our GRAND PRIZE – An XL Big Green Egg personally delivered by me. Yep! I’ll spend half a day with the winner investing in you or your team and who knows – maybe we’ll even fire up that grill to celebrate! Head over to my Facebook Page and check out the video for all the details so you can enter to win this awesome prize!

Giveaways offered December 5th-11th. 

Grand Prize for US and Canadian residents only. 

Links Mentioned

Check out Ministry Grid where first time guests receive free training for teams of 2 to 200 now through December 31st!

Breaking 200 Without Breaking You

3 Insights from This Episode

1. It’s not about longevity it’s all about legacy

The best thing we can do as leaders is invest in other people and other churches to help them bring hope to their communities. Think about leaving a legacy that goes beyond your own longevity. New churches and rising leaders create growth and help more people find their way to God. Remember that the mission is not about the expansion of your message. It’s all about the reach of  God’s message and legacy builders can move that message so much further by providing opportunities for others to partner with them. 

2. 5 Essential Practices of Leaders that Multiply Leaders from Dave’s new book Hero Maker

1. Multiplication Thinking – You’ve got to dream big.

2. Permission Giving – See people differently by asking God to work through their gifts instead of your own.

3. Disciple Multiplier – There’s an opportunity to grow people at any level.

4. Gift Activation – The commissioning moment when everyone knows the leader is ready.

5. Kingdom Building – Keeping track of current and cumulative apprentices.

3. A screen shot into Dave’s RPMS journal routine

Dave pauses each day to rate himself on a Relational, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual level.  Check out how he was doing the day of our interview.

Quotes from This Episode

Some Help For Your Church

So you would love to reach more people, but how? Your church just can’t seem to sustainably grow past the 200 barrier. And you’re really not sure why.

My new online course called Breaking 200 Without Breaking You is designed to help senior pastors and their boards and leadership team break through the barrier 85% of churches never move past: the 200 attendance barrier.

So many leaders who try to break it either get stuck at 150-250 in attendance or burned out in the process of trying.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Believe it or not, the reasons most churches never break 200 aren’t spiritual reasons, they’re practical reasons. Strategic reasons.

So whether your church is 50, 150 or 250 in attendance, the principles will help you gain the insight you need to break the barrier more than 85% of churches can’t break.

Click here to get instant access!

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Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Esther Fedorkevich

Esther Fedorkevich is one of the most successful agents in publishing today. In this episode, she shows anyone who has a message they want to get out what’s possible. She talks about how publishing is changing, how to self-publish and what it takes to get a book deal. Carey and Esther also talk about their work together on Carey’s next book.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 170.

CNLP 169: Dave Ferguson on the Future of Church Growth and the Rapid Multiplication of Church Leaders and Churches


  1. Steve Lewallen on December 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    This is the best C/church-related message I have heard since Andy’s “recent random thoughts” message at Drive Conf (or some similar conf) about 10 years ago. Thank you!

  2. Simon Young on December 17, 2017 at 7:34 am

    As someone from Britain, I thought a wonderful discussion was ruined by the tacky and unGodly advertising. Advertising the tax avoiding Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and some BBQ equipment – what has that got to do with God’s Kingdom? I prayerfully hope that is not what I remember from this podcast, but I worry it will be.

    • Martin on January 3, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      I appreciated this conversation. This is the one Podcast I listen to regularly.
      Advertising is completely understandable. With hours it takes to record and edit a podcast it needs to generate income to compensate all involved.
      In my opinion generating income is neither tacky or ungodly.
      Also, the “advertising” mentioned was Carey giving away gifts to his listeners.

      Thanks for the hours of thought provoking education and engaging conversation you are bringing to us Carey.

    • Simon Young on February 9, 2018 at 8:34 am

      This was the first Carey Nieuwhof podcast I had listened to and I am now an avid listener, eagerly awaiting each Tuesday. Listening to this conversation has led to so much. I bought Dave Fergusion’s book “Exponential” which our church leadership team is now all reading and we are going to spend some time in our monthly meetings discussing it, and I’ve also bought his book “The Big Idea”. I have listened to a number of the old podcasts of Carey’s and have also listened to some of his guests podcasts. My wishlist of books has just grown – oh to find the time! A lot more vitality has entered my Christian life since listening to this podcast. I have also given the Carey 5 stars. So culturally whilst I do struggle with the adverts and some of the North American cultural references I have met a lot of wonderful and humble Christian leaders.

      • Dave Ferguson on May 26, 2018 at 9:49 am

        Glad this was helpful to you Simon! Let me know if I can help in any other way.

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