[featured_image]Traditional training for church planters often focuses on preparing to launch worship services to hopefully make disciples. But what if church planters and their teams focused on making disciples who make disciples first – even before starting worship services?
Jesus didn’t train His disciples to start services to make disciples, but rather to make disciples to start churches.
Seize Jesus’ Mission – Seizing Jesus Mission means aligning your life with His mission – recognizing you’ve been commissioned to make disciples! As you align our lives with Jesus’ mission, instead of focusing first on starting worship services to make disciples, embrace Jesus’ method of ministry, which was to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples to fulfill His mission.
Adopt Missional Thinking and Behaviors – We’ve been sent on mission to make disciples who make disciples, so we start thinking and acting like missionaries (“Sent Ones”). This requires significant shifts in the way we view ourselves and the purpose of the church. Being on mission with Jesus will be seen in our values and behaviors.
Exegete the Culture – Just like good Bible study starts with exegeting a specific text, as missionaries we seek to exegete and understand the specific culture to which God has sent us with the gospel message. We try to discover what’s unique about the harvest field around us – and how God is already working. Then we can communicate the gospel message in relevant ways.
Incarnate the Gospel – Jesus was the very incarnation of God. We are not God, but we are called to be Jesus to everyone everywhere. We must start living out the gospel in tangible ways – loving, serving, and blessing others! Loving and serving like Jesus opens up opportunities to share the gospel and leads us to responsive people in the culture around us.
Multiply Disciplemakers – As people respond to the gospel and become followers of Jesus, we teach them to obey all that Jesus commanded. This includes training them to follow the previous steps in the cycle – helping others to follow Jesus too.
Form Communities → Churches – Those who start to follow Jesus begin to gather together in small groups to study the Bible and learn together in community. As groups begin to multiply as a result of making disciples, larger gatherings of disciplemakers are launched. Wait to actually start worship services until you have five disciplemaking groups, or you have reached the fourth generation of disciples.
Mobilize Leaders and Teams – The church planter must continue to raise up leaders and teams which are then sent out to complete The Multiplication Cycle™ again – making more disciples who make disciples and preparing to start more disciplemaking groups and new churches all over the place.
If you are planting a church, what would happen if you waited to start services until you’d actually baptized new followers of Jesus?
Today’s Missional Challenge
Consider how to apply each part of The Multiplication Cycle™to your own life and ministry!