A Vision for Multiplication
As our society changes and becomes more multi-cultural we must face the reality that a post-modern, post-Christian paradigm has developed and that the United States must be re-evangelized. The most effective form of evangelism is Church Multiplication / Planting.
Properly understood this is a missional work and should be handled with the same philosophical approach as every other missiological endeavor. We must know and understand who we are seeking to reach. We must understand their particular needs and formulate a plan to address those needs properly. We must reflect on and prepare for the work of contextualizing the message of the Gospel to the unique situation of those individuals we are seeking to reach, so as to communicate the Truth of Jesus Christ with them. Finally, we must equip them with the tools they need to transform their lives, families, and communities.
Examining the Apostle Paul as a model for strategic planning, we find that he focused on training those who were already in a community, to minister to their own community, without needing to first uproot themselves; severing ties with friends, family, or employment. In this way, they were able to cultivate a Community of Faith that was unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, unwilling to settle for status quo religion, unable to stand by and watch people be destroyed by Sin. A Community of Faith that is propelled by the Holy Spirit, pursuing God with reckless abandon, turning the world upside down through acts of compassion that are the natural outgrowth of God’s unfailing love permeating their lives… true ministry spontaneously generated in the hearts of God’s people as they choose to embrace the Eternal and catch a glimpse of that which they have just barely dared to hope for.
This is a fundamental distinction from the current Christendom influenced paradigm of how the church works wherein the structure is top-down; the leadership determines what ministry needs to be offered, designs programs, and recruits people to operate the machinery of ministry; where no matter how many programs there are or how far-reaching they go outside of the church’s walls, the church still is centralized by its walls. The Apostolic strategy on the other hand is structured bottom-up; its most basic building block is the household relationships and thus is fundamentally a church without walls.