As individual followers of Jesus, we are called to multiply by making disciples of those around us, helping people — wherever they are in their spiritual journey — move closer and closer to Jesus (Matthew 28:18–20).
Collectively, as His church, we are called to multiply by equipping disciples to mature in the faith, developing those with leadership giftings to equip those around them for ministry, and planting new churches to make room for more and more people to follow Jesus and serve in His mission. Simply put, we as a church are called to multiply disciples, leaders and churches. The church cannot function in a healthy way without multiplying the number of disciples, leaders and churches in the areas God has missionally assigned.
The good news is that multiplication is the natural outcome of a healthy church, and every church, regardless of size, can multiply. Much of modern church planting emphasizes large launch models of multiplication that require significant amounts of money, people and expertise to pull off. This is an excellent way to multiply churches, but not the only way. In many cases, this way has intimidated leaders and churches from starting new churches or apostolic initiatives. The church successfully multiplied for millennia using methods that did not require large amounts of money or people — often in hostile environments — through people who were willing to take a courageous step of obedient faith.
In the multiplication track at General Conference 2019, we will be exploring many different practical ways to multiply disciples, leaders and churches for churches of any size or age. We are gathering practitioners who are currently planting new churches, overseeing new church starts, and leaders who are starting new churches and/or apostolic initiatives from existing churches to bring us practical ideas that can be contextualized and implemented in your local church. Each session will center around the daily theme (worship, discipleship and outreach) and will be broken into three 15-minute segments. The first segment of each session will be a 15-minute talk about how to create a movement of multiplication related to the theme of the day. The second 15-minute segment will have a practitioner share the story of how this looks practically in his or her setting. The third 15-minute segment will be practical implementation tools for getting started in the local context followed by 20 minutes of questions and answers with a panel of presenters along with some other practitioners and subject matter experts.
Whether you’re a lead pastor, staff member, lay leader, church planter, student or curious bystander, all of us are called to multiplication. We will have practical help to start or accelerate your multiplication efforts. Hope to see you there!