Posted by: whereintheworldismike | February 9, 2012

People Movements and Church Multiplication

I have one supporter who longs for the day when churches were smaller and often sent out a family or two to plant a new church. There was always an excitement and the joy of the Lord was palpable to everyone in attendance. This is what we challenge churches in Japan and other countries to do. Here are some notes I use when I am equipping those who have taken on the challenge.

People Movements and Church Multiplication

Slide 1

How do you cultivate your heart for God?

Interactive prayer (e.g. The Hour that Changes the World by Dick Eastman), not just monologue; To process and apply new principles presented here you will need to reflect on it; #3 (cultivating your heart for God) is so important and so often neglected because of our busyness and misplaced priorities; LTG (Cultivating a Heart for God by Neil Cole) reading (average 4-6 chapters/day) of the Bible helps in disciple transformation; What are your ideas? How do you cultivate your heart for God?

Slide 2

This is not a human endeavor! This is God-driven. Our role is that of God-cooperators (1 Corinthians 3:9). We need to learn to listen to him and obey promptly to see his power unleashed.

Slide 3

Keep it simple principle; value your first follower; affirm and welcome your first follower; model and encourage him/her to mimic you (what you model must be simple—just bare necessity); the first follower makes you a leader and lowers the threshold for more to follow; you reach a tipping point when 2 and 3 followers join you. Keep it going with discipleship chains (older bro-younger bro-older bro-younger bro etc. = disciple chain.) This helps fulfill 1 Peter 2:9 and Matthew 28:18-20.

Slide 4

These are important principles from the entertaining video with the dancing man.

What can you take away from this video to help you multiply your ministry?

Slide 5

In relational evangelism of a person of peace, the spirit of evangelism almost always spreads from the witness to the one being witnessed to. The result is development of an evangelistic multiplier. The person of peace is the most credible person in groups they are part of and are therefore the most effective witnesses for Christ once they believe. How can you identify people of peace to start disciple multiplication in your context? (respected, credible in a group, seen as technically savvy because they have a habit of researching new things and finding what is good).

Slide 6

The initial joy of a new believer is infectious and must not be squelched. Empowered new believers encouraged by the newly resident Holy Spirit are the basic unit of a people multiplication movement. (the priesthood of believers in 1Peter 2:9).

People of peace can effectively bridge groups. The person of peace is the most credible person in groups they are part of and are therefore the most effective witnesses for Christ once they believe. Common characteristics of a person of peace are listed on the following slide.

Slide 7

Start by telling how you are blessed by knowing Jesus; how does he help you day to day? How does he give you peace in the midst of stress or uncertainty? How has he helped you? Offer to pray for the one you’re witnessing to.

Slide 8

Enthusiastic new believers can effectively witness whether or not they are people of peace. Sometimes they will partner with a believer who is a person of peace increasing the effectiveness of the witness of each. Encourage new believers who can bridge new groups to do so introducing the gospel to a new group. How can you do such incarnational ministry in your context?

Slide 9

Person of Peace: 1) respected opinion leader (most influence in a group and informally leads even if not the formal leader of the group);  2) has a reputation: can be good or bad, but is well known in their groups;  3) well-connected with an influential role in many relationships.

Need to cultivate your own heart with God; then need to reach a person of peace, go after their oikos together, and then leapfrog from group to group using bridge people (Draw this on a white board). This type of work must be God-driven and done in cooperation with his lead (Experiencing God by Blackaby and King 2008) (Show Experiencing God handout and discuss). Ask: How do you discern how God is working around you? Do you make it your habit to work where God is working? Have you experienced adjusting your life or ministry to cooperate with something he is doing that God had shown you?

Blackaby and King. Experiencing God. 1994. GRAPHIC

Slide 10

-God’s Word should be applied to the point of need of the hearer. Listen to hear in what way the hearer is “thirsty.” As you listen, the Holy Spirit should direct the witness to the right approach for each non-Christian. For example: If someone is worried about finances maybe the Holy Spirit will direct the witness to share Matthew 6:33 with him/her.

-Personal Relational component speaks of the witness genuinely caring for the non-Christian they are witnessing to. Employ active listening to really get to know the one you’re witnessing to. Identify concerns and offer to pray. EXPLAIN EVANGELISM OF THE EARS (Toyotome in Enjoyable Personal Evangelism). Track answers to prayer. [In pairs practice active listening. 2 roles: 1) You want to share your faith in Christ with 2) Non-Christian with a crisis or concern that has grabbed your attention.]

-Emotional component speaks of crises, fears, uncertainty, pain in the life of the non-Christian. These are opportunities that create possible openness to a sensitive Christian witness to come alongside with a gentle witness of God’s grace and help they’ve personally experienced. Then as hunger grows in the hearer, the gospel can be presented more directly. [In pairs switch roles between 1) and 2).]

Slide 11

Matthew 7:13-14. Finishing well. In America 80% of Christian’s do not finish well. The 20% who do, experience recurring times of renewal and inspiration from the Lord (Ferrar, Finishing Well). Here is a suggestion:

Daily read the Word (target 4-5 chapters but don’t be legalistic), pray interactively listening to God (1x/month 1-2 hours of prayer with Prayer Wheel in The Hour that Changes the World, by Dick Eastman (Japanese available here),

When church planting, stay in the gospels when doing Bible study with new believers in discipleship chains.

Right after a salvation decision, show the new convert Matt. 28:18-20 and then if he/she is willing, baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and commission them to make disciples. Start oikos prayer and reach out to oikos together in obedience to Christ’s command to “make disciples, baptizing, and teaching them to obey all Christ has commanded.” When another person believes the one you have trained trains the newcomer—or if one is a man and one is a woman, the 3 of you can meet in a LTG which will form 2 once there is at least 2 of each gender.

Slide 12

Seek to evangelize groups, not just individuals. Don’t seek to rip unbelievers out of their groups to invite them to yours. Reach their whole group and make them sanctified. Ask for stories of how each has met and ministered to a person of peace (This is a person who enabled the witness to network with other family members, friends, or colleagues). EXPLAIN “BUTSUDAN DENDOU” to reach whole families.

Slide 13

Seek to evangelize groups, not just individuals. Don’t seek to rip unbelievers out of their groups to invite them to yours. Reach their whole group and make them sanctified. Ask for stories of how each has met and ministered to a person of peace (This is a person who enabled the witness to network with other family members, friends, or colleagues). EXPLAIN “BUTSUDAN DENDOU” to reach whole families.

Slide 14

When you have your first Christ-follower, show him/her Matthew 28-18-20 and if they are willing baptize them. Point out that the second part of the command is also for true followers of Jesus Christ. After baptizing him/her start an LTG but stay in the gospels in your reading (What does the passage say? What does it mean? What does it say about Jesus? What do I need to do in response?). When another person or two believes in Jesus, after baptizing them, set up a time for Fukuda Mitsuo 先生to do TENNGAINAI training with the little group of new believers. Form an LTG with the first 2 new believers and model transparency and passion for Christ to them when you meet (本音で語り合う). The second new believer should join an LTG with the planter and first new believer but the first new believer should be given more responsibility step-by-step.

The planter must be a leader who develops leaders. Then the first followers will become leaders who develop leaders. Then when a third new person believes, is baptized and joins the LTG, the church planter should pioneer a new group, and the second and third new believers should be in a LTG initiating a short Discipleship Chain by twos (先輩後輩、先輩後輩、先輩後輩). This process should be continued indefinitely so that everyone in the new church is in two paired discipleship relationships (In one group they are a sempai and in one other group they are a kouhai). This type of discipleship will develop leaders from the harvest for the harvest and will gain ownership of the vision and full engagement in the mission by new believers from the start. The enthusiasm of new believers is powerful and must be cultivated and set free with ongoing support.

Slide 15

Jesus said, “The one who saves his life will lose it but the one who loses his life for my sake will find life.” The method proposed will stretch your comfort zone but it will encourage the new believer to help you start a movement. This is one way you can encourage and nurture his new active faith.

Slide 16

This is God’s plan: believers focus on making obedient disciples (Matt 28:20) and leave the building of the Church to the Spirit of Jesus (Matt 16:18) in each new group of believers. The Lord of the Harvest directs particulars of the new church mainly through the harvest of new souls he gives. He has chosen the new believers and his plan for the church is revealed in part by the make-up of the first group of new believers. Developing new churches this way gets ownership of the new church’s vision by all the believers who are part of it (holy missional consensus).

Slide 17

Examine everything you want to do to “make church.” Ask yourself, “Is this truly biblical or is this a traditional add-on I’m familiar with?” “Will this open the way for Jesus-seekers or will it make it more difficult for them to come?” Jesus taught about wineskins (Matthew 9:16-17; Mark 2:21-22; Luke 5:36-39). He did not say old wineskins are bad—just not appropriate for the new wine. The new wine can be thought of as the chosen people in every generation. God has put chosen people in this generation to extend his Kingly reign on the earth. The new wine does not fit into old wineskin churches very well. They need new wineskin churches to grow and be fruitful and faithful. Christians from old wineskin churches will struggle to start or attend new wineskin churches because they do not have the programs they are used to and like Jesus said in the parable, they will say, “The old is better.” (Luke 5:39)

Slide 18

One paradigm calls this kind of church a “missional church.” This is where believers are empowered to serve as Ambassadors of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) in their contexts. To do this, the Church must think about discipleship holistically. In the simple “missional” church, systems or procedures such as mentoring relationships must be developed that teach new believers skills for godly living (for example: how do you have a good husband-wife relationship? How do you raise godly, responsible teenagers?), and the ministry of making disciples  (for example: how do you witness at your workplace? How do you as a believer handle ancestor veneration in your family?) This requires mentoring in a small group community where the “one another” passages are lived out transparently. Specifically, the discipleship chain (spiritual sempai-kohai pairs) must continue to grow together in the Word, and reach out making new chains while experiencing God in their midst.

Slide 19

In a centered church, everyone is focused on seeking Christ: getting closer to God; starting from different points. Everyone is too busy seeking Christ and growing in personal holiness so they don’t have time to judge others for where they are at. Centered-set churches function like wells that invite all who are thirsty to come for a drink of living water. At the core, both the members and the leaders are still thirsty to grow. No one feels like they “have arrived.” Everyone passionately holds the value of seeking to know God and make him known—it’s part of this church’s DNA.

Slide 20

In a centered church, everyone is focused on seeking Christ: getting closer; starting from different points. Everyone is too busy seeking Christ and growing in personal holiness so they don’t have time to judge others for where they are at. Centered-set churches function like wells that invite all who are thirsty to come for a drink of living water. At the core both the member and the leaders are still thirsty to grow. No one feels like they “have arrived.” Everyone passionately holds the value of seeking to know God and make him known—it’s part of this church’s DNA. Many churches take the easy way and instead of growing together in holiness, members begin to point their fingers at sinners and focus on how bad outsiders are. When this happens, they become like Pharisees—the religious leaders that Jesus reserved his harshest criticism for. Does your church love sinners and welcome them to the family of God or do they judge outsiders and make them uncomfortable?

Slide 21

1600+ models, House churches and non-traditional flourishing, traditional churches receding in USA (postmodern) and Japan (in-group hierarchy) American youth are rejecting a safe, cognitive faith. They long for a Savior who has the power and love to transform them freeing them from their addictions and compulsions; more & more Muslim headdresses not only in L.A. but in the heartland (southern Indiana); In Japan a new hunger for God’s presence and the leading of the Holy Spirit and focus on simple church.

In the USA most churches have not made the transition from Modern ministry to Post Modern ministry. The result is a mass exodus of young people out of the Church who doubt Christ’s existence due to the lack of transformation in both their parents and them. Christ’s power did not save their parents from divorce. It did not free their parents…or them, from addictions and abuses. They have gone looking for help elsewhere craving spiritual power for personal and societal transformation.

Slide 22

In USA very high congregational divorce rate, substance abuse rate, porn watching rate, number of dying congregations due to fruitless believers. Some American and Japanese churches have Celebrate Recovery, Various inner healing ministries, but MORE ARE NEEDED. People in the churches do not only need to be taught the Bible but to also experience the freedom Christ proclaimed (John 8:32, not only head knowledge of the truth but heart knowledge also) and how to process trials in life (James 1:2-4) in such a way that they will be more like Christ and proclaim him more effectively (Romans 12:1-2). Intro: spiritual warfare/inner healing prayer that God has used in USA, Cambodia, Japan. (Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23, cf. Christ’s Plan for His People)

Christ’s Plan for His People

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and

approved by men. (Romans 14:17-18)

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:30-32)

(Christ came) to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear

in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. (Luke 1:74-75)

Finally, Christ stated his mission this way:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

(Luke 4:18-19)

Christ’s Truth overcomes the lies we all believe. He is in the process of renewing the minds of his followers (Romans 12:2) so that we do not conform to the pattern of this world’s thinking any longer.

Christ will set us free of the strongholds created by unforgiveness and other unclean habits that hold us back in our lives and service for him. (Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew18:34-35)

Finally, for those who through either ignorance or willful cooperation with the enemy of our souls have become oppressed by the torturers (Matthew 18:35), aka demons, Christ frees those who renounce sinful vows/oaths/ungodly sexual soul ties crying out for his deliverance. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

This is the result of healing/deliverance by Christ:

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.

If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

Slide 23

This is a process where followers of Christ grow in holiness and the knowledge of God. They not only know Christ through reading the scriptures. They know Christ through the scriptures, experience, and holistic growth. Such discipleship employs mentoring and on-the-job training in addition to the traditional discipleship associated with scripture reading and memorization, and prayer. Discipleship is not for a few elite but for everyone. Like Neil Cole says, “Raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple of Christ (make it more challenging). Lower the bar on what it means to ‘do church.’(make it simpler)” Prayer is a dialogue between God and human that results in the human acquiring more of the heart of God. God wants us to grow in 4 areas (distribute “Holistic Discipleship” handout)

Holistic Discipleship

The Four Intersecting Areas of Growth for a Disciple of Jesus Christ

(with selected scriptures for illustration)

Holistic Disciple Development

When a Christian grows in all four areas mandated by God’s Word they are like a multi-faceted gem dazzling to behold. Again, they are like an extremely interesting and attractive book for people to read that points the way unmistakably to the Son of God, the Christian’s Savior and King.

©Michael L. Wilson

Slide 24

(1) Scripture knowledge with application (all of the scripture–no picking and choosing allowed);

(2) Experiential knowledge of God (interactive prayer and other disciplines of intentionally keeping in step with the Holy Spirit) which is acquired in the community of discipleship pairs (spiritual sempai-kohai) and small groups that live the “one another” passages of the Bible (Distribute “One another” handout); (Ask: How have you gained deeper knowledge of God through joining him in his work?)

(3) Ministry and Godly living skill competence (acquired “life on life” in discipleship pairs, mentoring relationships, and small group community);

(4) Temple care (mentoring, on-the-job-training, and prayerful emotional support needed). Let’s develop truly TRANSFORMATIONAL COMMUNITIES THAT GROW BY DISCIPLE DEVELOPMENT FROM THE HARVEST FOR THE HARVEST. (Ask: Does your discipleship process used at your church address the 4 areas and do you see transformation happening in the members that results in greater faithfulness and fruitfulness?)

Slide 25

If the Church was a bird this would be two-winged discipleship. Balanced growth in these 4 areas develops disciples who grow in pure character, and competence equipped for every good work (2 Tim 2:20-21)

Slide 26

Inductive study such as is done in Kay Arthur Bible study books such as God Are You There? (神様、あなたは本当におられるのですか)、 and Church Based Theological Education (CBTE) are most effective for adult learners. Conversely, not more than 5-10% of a lecture is remembered after 24 hours.

Slide 27

This is the kind of experiential learning taught in Experiencing God. It includes interactive prayer (e.g. The Hour that Changes the World (Dick Eastman), Restoring the Foundations (Chester & Betsy Kystra). Inner healing prayer through which Jesus deals with

1) generational curses from sins of the fathers,

2) ungodly beliefs or lies that compete with the Truth we learn in God’s Word,

3) wounds of the heart that often result in unforgiveness, and roots of bitterness that infiltrate a community of faith

4) demonic oppression (For a more complete explanation see “Disciple Transformation” Powerpoint).

Slide 28

This is learned mainly through mentoring/coaching in older brother-younger brother, older sister-younger sister relationships

Slide 29

This is accomplished through eating well, sleeping enough, and exercise.

Slide 30

We must not let the light for the propagation of the gospel of God slip away without playing our part in the greatest spiritual harvest in the history of the world.


Responses

  1. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page
    layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only
    having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Thank you for your kind words! I am planning to upgrade and do some reformatting when I get back Stateside. I am trying to help churches return to relevancy in a post Christian culture.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: