By Dr. George Patterson and Jay Pratt
The book of Acts ends with the repeated a phrase, “He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ--with all boldness and without hindrance!” Acts 28:31
Most missionaries are unaware or cynical that thousands of new Disciple Multiplication Movements are springing up among Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists as well as in North America. Correct their common misconceptions with the following Corrections.
Honest humility Learn from practitioners who have started and sustained discipling movements, rather than thinking you have mastered all the answers. 2 Tim. 2:2, Ex. 18:18.
Vigorous vision Think on the multiplication and addition principles presented in Acts, rather than thinking of church growth by addition only.
Fearless faith Believe that rapidly obeying Jesus leads to rapidly multiplying disciples, rather than fearing “There are giants in the land!” Num. 13:30 Firm obedience Base discipleship on obedience , rather than overemphasizing information. Mt. 7:24-28. Mt. 28:20.
Sacred rites Affirm the importance of Jesus’ ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper, rather than pushing for decisions of the will.
Power Allow demonstrations of the Power of Christ to heal the sick, rather than merely preaching the Word.
All nations See all ripe fields that God has readied in an area, to start separate movements, rather than focusing with tunnel vision on only one people group.
Family units Do family evangelism in homes, rather than focusing unduly on individuals.
Lay leaders Let new, indigenous leaders of new churches baptize and serve Communion, rather than making them disobey Jesus’ commands for lack of ordained clergy.
Tentmakers Enable self-support for leaders, rather than providing paternalistic subsidy of leaders who often over-control.
Poor people Make disciples among the poor in pioneer areas, rather than trying to push camels through a needle’s eye, working exclusively with middle and upper class folk.
Balance Alleviate poverty as you evangelize, doing both, rather than having two separate efforts of development work and discipling.
Truth Critically analyze generational multiplication and “fruit inspection”, rather than naively believing every evangelistic event report, neglecting monitoring and evaluating evangelistic and disciple multiplication efforts.
Stories Relate Bible stories and ask discussion questions, rather than relying primarily on monologue sermons.
Model skills Train apprentices on the job working with people, rather than merely lecturing.
Priorities Give making disciples top importance, rather than overly focusing on language learning. Those who focus all their time on language seldom turn over leadership to local believers.
Practice first Start a Multiplying Micro-Church Network before writing about it, rather than striving to gain recognition as an expert’ or trying to climb an organizational ladder. The sin of Diotrophes was loving to be first, 3 John 1:9.
Wolf warning Inoculate believers against those “sheep stealers who will surely come, rather than waiting until they have already begun to decimate Christ's flock.
Train locals Train lay leaders who have jobs and are local "Sons of the Soil", rather than importing and exporting leaders from Bible schools or seminaries.
Light baton Develop easily reproducible, affordable training techniques to disciple nations, rather than overemphasizing high tech devices and media. [A serious hindrance to lightening the baton is to fail to begin at the beginning. Workers focus on what lies ahead instead of their first step. See how to correct this in the box below.]
20 Common Hindrances
in catalyzing Multiplying Micr0-Church Networks
Church Planters, Let’s Focus on Beachhead Tactics!
Many who aim for an extensive movement stall at the start. They fail to engage enough “persons of peace” to spark multiplication; they keep meeting with the same few contacts. This snag calls for strategy similar to that of a successful military beachhead; far more planning, training and detailed preparation goes into the brief landing on a beach than for any other phase of an invasion.
Does your spiritual beachhead need attention? Help coworkers who are stalled on the beaches gather many tiny flocks far more quickly.
Do you need help to do this? If so, then listen closely to those who have gone far beyond the beaches; visit their fields; be willing to step away from the heavier, slower, more costly and sophisticated methods that are cherished by many and that overshadow the simple, powerful working of the Holy Spirit. He offers a light baton, making it very easy for new believers to begin at once to take Jesus to friends and gather new flocks.