The real key to church planting doesn’t lie in the individual church that is planted, but in the incubators that produce churches, according to Bob Roberts in his book The Multiplying Church: the new math for starting new churches. Roberts argues that church planting movements are second-tier movements to Jesus movements. Jesus movements travel through social networks, and they take time to establish themselves. They are led by disciples, not church planters, and they are led by the young.
According to the author, none of the usual reasons for planting a church is sufficient in itself: obedience to the Great Commission; conducting evangelism more effectively; communicating more relevantly; conducting research and development in new church styles; establishing bases to reach more people; reaching future generations; and impacting existing churches. The only real reason worth starting a church is to achieve transformation in the lives of people and communities. So the dreaming should start not with the church, but with the people outside the church.
Chapter 8 encourages us to start with the society, not the church, and to think like a community developer. We need to know what is going on in the society in the domains of economics, agriculture, education, medicine/science/technology, communication, arts/entertainment, governance/justice and family. Churches emerge when the gospel intersects these domains and people begin to follow Christ.