New Mission Frontiers Available

Mission Frontiers is has become the leading magazine for great content on disciple-making and church planting movements.

This month’s issue is a must read……

The March-April issue of Mission Frontiers is now available online. In this issue we are looking at how God uses field workers to pioneer movements among unreached peoples around the world. God is using their expertise in the U.S. in pursuit of similar movements among unreached peoples. These leaders have coined the term 4X4 Movement Starts to describe a minimum goal for movements starts where 4 lineages of disciple-makers are developing 4 more generations of disciples. Read on to find out more. (Full Issue)

 Kindle Download – Read it on any device that uses mobi files (Kindle, Kindle App for iPad/ iPhone/ Mac/ Android)

Featured Articles

Introducing… 4X4 Movement Starts

Ministries aim to grow wide (a regular audience of many members), but not deep (many generations). Ministries urge: “come to our meeting,” “listen to our message,” “read our materials,” or “visit our site.” Ministries ask members to invite others rather than training them to reproduce. Ministries tend to overextend leaders while leaving disciples dependent and underdeveloped. Movements on the other hand, equip members to obey and teach what they receive, often with little interaction two or more generations away.  (full article)

No Longer “Business as usual”

As a family we have witnessed door to door for decades, using whatever model was favored by our current local church. They were always encouraged, and the people to whose homes we went seemed more responsive with someone from out of town. And as we shared the gospel, we joyfully experienced GOD! But after we, with others, helped add 1,200 people to one church, these people eventually wandered away because there was no structure for discipleship and leadership development to equip the fruit of these evangelistic outreaches for multiplication. Now, in the tools that God has given us, we have a reproducing entry strategy, a reproducing gospel which new believers share right away, reproducing discipleship, reproducing gatherings of new believers, and multiplication of leaders. (full article)

No Longer “Church as usual”

I started my ministry as a pastor in 1990 in the usual way of “attractional” church. The traditional idea of “doing church” was to develop a program on Sundays that would draw those who were far from God to hear the Gospel and connect with the Lord and His people. But after more than 20 years doing it this way, something seemed very ineffective to me with this approach. I’ve said for a long time, “I’m way too old to play church!” Furthermore, I realized that in my 22 years as a pastor I had encouraged, challenged, rebuked, motivated, inspired and even scolded Christians toward disciple-making. But I had never taught them how to make a disciple. it had never occurred to me that my first responsibility as a pastor in “equipping the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:11-13 ESV) was to teach them how to make disciples who were abet to make disciples. (2 Tim 2:2) (full article)

No Longer “Discipleship as usual”

By 2010, I had been discipling others for 30 years and risen to national level leadership with the Navigators. Then a speaker introduced me to the book, Movements that Change the World. I was more than curious. This launched me on a three-year study of what God is doing around the world. The final book on my reading list was T4T: A Discipleship Re-revolution by Steve Smith and Ying Kai. As I started reading a voice in my head said, “Humble yourself and do this.” By now I had read hundreds of books on discipleship methods, and I wasn’t about to blindly start doing new stuff. But the Holy Spirit persisted in speaking to me, and I determined to obey. Never have I seen God do so much so quickly, nor to such depth. (full article)

Growing U.S. Movements to the Lost and the Unreached

We started our house church in October 2012. We just called it “porch church” since we started by meeting on our porch. We started with eight folks but only have seven now. We’ve intentionally not added new members but seek to start new churches with new folks. As of December 2013, we have multiple streams to the 5th generation or beyond and well over a dozen more to the 4th generation. All told there are about 200 downstream churches in the USA and 162 overseas, including several among previously unengaged people groups. The total number of new professions of faith is now over 10,500. Our vision is to make it the norm for followers of Christ to become multiplying disciple-makers. (full article)

Fostering Multigenerational Movements by Equipping Believer-Priests

I moved from traditional church ministry to pursuing a generational church movement in January 2005. A desire to reach the lost and an honest look at how the first-century world was discipled in reproducing churches inspired us to “Re-en-ACT” our approach to the Great Commission. As a result we’ve had approximately 1000 generational groups and churches started in our people group. We live outside our people group, but I have personally led two to faith who have started generational church streams. Also, a volunteer team I was with led another person to faith who started a large generational stream. As a result, my primary role shifted from evangelism to training. Discipling these new believers as partner-priests, rather than students, has fostered generational growth. (full article)

Disciples Unleashed

In Honduras, Kenya, Guatemala, Israel, Congo, Pakistan, and many other nations, the Body of Christ is stirring in a mighty way, hungry for God’s work. Pastors and church leaders all over the world are hearing the call to return to “the Jesus model” of making disciples. Applying the tools Jesus modeled for us is resulting to impact the world. (full article)
These and other articles are available at missionfrontiers.org. Join the conversation today.

Turning theory of church planting movements into practice by Steve Addison

MovementsThatChangeTheWorldEarlier this year Australian Missiologist Steve Addison did an interview with Dan Harding of Mission Platform. Dan asked about how Steve got interested in Movements and what he’s learning about turning theory into practice. This engaging interview has some good movement principles and good practices as well:

Reposted from Steve Addison’s Blog — Movements.net
Turning theory of church planting movements into practice.

In Memory of TRUE World Changers: Jim & Lyn Montgomery

Today I went to a Celebration of the Life of Lyn Montgomery…who entered eternity earlier this week to join her Lord and her love Jim. I have known Lyn only in these last 4 years, but I know I missed her most fun and fruitful days. The years wore on her beautiful body and soul, yet I long to know the woman that I heard the stories of today…at least to taste her carrot cake!

I’ve had the privilege of knowing the Montgomery’s son Len (who is an amazing man in his own right) and Len’s wife Mishal (amazing too!). My two boys are the same ages as their three boys (they have twin 6th graders). In fact, all those boys are right now at our house enjoying video games together!

I never had the privilege to know Jim either, as he passed in 2006. Never-the-less, I’ve been deeply impacted by his work, vision and writings.  He brought us in the church/missions world the idea, strategy and success of saturation church planting. On his shoulders, the ministry of DAWN (or Discipling A Whole Nation) was birthed. The most popular work of his, was DAWN 2000: 7 Million Churches to Go.   In modest numbers, the implication of Jim’s ideas have catalyzed more than 3 million churches around the world.  What a wake!

In a time of hype about movements and changing your world, Jim and Lyn are the true thing. I truly believe that even though less than 100 people gathered to celebrate the life of Lyn Montgomery in Anaheim today, there are thousands of saints in glory who welcome Lyn home because of her influence for Jesus around our globe. Certainly her Lord Jesus said, “Well done good and faithful servant!”

 

Links for you:

Jim Montgomery’s Writings – Free Downloads from DAWN

Jim’s Impact in starting DAWN Ministries (Discipling A Whole Nation)

From 2006 – Tall Skinny Kiwi: In Memory of Jim Montgomery.

Jim Montgomery telling the story of Campus Churches, Students of Peace and @JaesonMa

Some thoughts on Organic Church

Organic Church

Organic Church“We believe that church should happen wherever life happens. You shouldn’t have to leave life to go to church.”

I remember when I was younger (and more idealistic for some silly reason), I wanted every time I got together with friends for us to have a prayer time, or a singing time – worship, basically a time where we touched the heart of the Father. Well, needless to say, it didn’t happen very often. Most people, even my strong Christian friends, weren’t interested in “getting spiritual” in normal every day contexts. But this is what Neil is saying, that church should happen where ever we are.

“Most Christians today are trying to figure out how to bring lost people to Jesus”. (Organic Church by Neil Cole, p.24) Think about this phrase for a second. It sounds great, mainly because we have heard it so many times. Now consider “The key to starting churches spontaneously is to bring Jesus to lost people. We’re not interested in starting a regional church but rather making Jesus available to a whole region.” This makes more sense I believe. Cole talks about how so many of our churches go out of their way to attract people into the building, so that they can hear the message. I would dare to say that people just aren’t interested no matter what we do. They are seeking, but not enough to travel here and there. Taking Christ into their world, where life happens, is what Cole is advocating.

After many circumstances, and times where his heart broke for the young people of California in tears and prayers, he and some friends began to hang out at a local coffeehouse. “We played checkers, chess, or dominoes with the regulars who came to the coffeehouse, and we became part of the crowd. We would listen intently to people’s stories and offer compassionate prayer for those who were hurting. We did not preach at people, but they would often ask us about our spiritual lives….Before long my living room was filled with new life. Rather than move to a larger space, we sent small teams of two or three to other coffeehouses to start other churches.” (p.26)

I don’t want to get too long here, but I really want to quote Cole from page 26-27:

“These churches we were starting were small (avg. 16) and simple. …we valued a simple life of following our Lord and avoiding many of the complexities of the conventional church. Complex things break down and do not get passed on, but simple things are strong and easily reproduced. Ordinary Christians were able to do the extraordinary work of starting and leading churches because the work was simple, the results powerful.

…’We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple.’ If church is simple enough that everyone can do it and is made up of people who take up their cross and follow Jesus at any cost, the result will be churches that empower the common Christian to do the uncommon works of God. Churches will become healthy, fertile, and reproductive.

The conventional church has become so complicated and difficult to pull off that only a rare person who is a professional can do it every week. Many people feel that to lower the bar of how church is done is close to blasphemous because the Church is Jesus’ expression of the Kingdom on earth. Because church is not a once-a-week service but the people of God’s family, what they have actually done is the opposite of their intention. When church is so complicated, its function is taken out of the hands of the common Christian and placed in the hands of a few talented professionals. This results in a passive church whose members come and act more like spectators than empowered agents of God’s kingdom.”

Comment – I find we often talk about being empowered agents, but I am beginning to believe that we can talk all we want, but the very structure of North American church hinders and limits the Christian, turning them unintentionally into that “passive church”

Last quote – “The organic or simple church, more than any other, is best prepared to saturate a region because it is informal, relational, and mobile. Because it is more financially unencumbered with overhead costs and is easily planted in a variety of settings, it also reproduces faster and spreads further. Organic church can be a decentralized approach to a region, nation, or people group and is not heavily dependent upon trained clergy.”

___
Reposted from the blog: simmerings of a saxon

Quick Explanation of Neil Cole’s Books

Neil Cole

Our calling at Church Multiplication Associates & @CMAResources is to multiply healthy disciples, leaders, churches and movements.  Neil ColeOur friend, Neil Cole has articulated many of the things we have learned in these areas in his written works.  Below is a listing of those resources authored by Cole and their focal points:

 

Disciples:

Search & RescueIf you want to learn about making and multiplying disciples, then read Cultivating A Life for God  and/or  Search & Rescue [paperback version is titled  “Ordinary Hero“]

* (Practical Resource- Life Transformation Group brochures

 

Leaders:

If you want to learn about growing, releasing and multiplying leaders, then read Organic Leadership 

Organic LeadershipIf you want to lead a group of emerging leaders through advanced doctrinal study so they can be trained in context, and not be shipped off to a seminary, then check out TruthQuest 

If you want to learn about leadership development, learn about your own development, and get a great, practical,  and biblical perspective on the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul, the read Journeys to Significance

If you want to shape a leadership development track for your ministry or network of churches, check out Raising Leaders for the Harvest

*(Practical Resource- Mentoring Guides for coaching leaders)

 

Churches:

Organic ChurchIf you want to be challenged about your view of the church, and think biblically about how to take the church to people, then you should read Organic Church

Church TransfusionIf you are part of a conventional church and want it to become a seedbed of mission and multiplication as the church was meant to be see Church Transfusion

If you want to gain insights that will pave the way for the emergence of fruitful multiplication of disciples, leaders, churches, etc. with a thick resource including 3-ring binder, 8 audio CDs and the Powerpoint, check out Beyond Church Planting by Neil Cole and Bob Logan.

 

* Practical Training- Organic Church Planter’s Greenhouse Story 1 & Story 2

 

Movements:

If you want to read about the top ten questions people ask about organic church, learn from a practitioner inside of a church multiplication movement and get a vision for the future of the church, then check out Church 3.0 

Insightful Videos from Neil Cole

Newforms

Newforms

Our bro, Neil Cole was at the Newforms National Conference in April and they captured some video…these clips are short (3-5 minutes) and pithy!

 

 

  1. Sabatoging Movements
  2. What is Church Planting “Movementum”?
  3. The Power of a Movement
  4. Building a Movement
  5. Believe in the Seed

“I Mean Something Which We Cannot Control” by Roland Allen

Roland AllenIf we are willing to relinquish control and allow for spontaneous multiplication in our churches, we will see the gospel go further than we ever dreamed possible. In the classic book written ahead of its time, The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church: And the Causes That Hinder It, Roland Allen describes the advantage of losing control in a release of spontaneous multiplication.

By spontaneous expansion I mean something which we cannot control. And if we cannot control it, we ought… to rejoice that we cannot control it. For if we cannot control it, it is because it is too great, not because it is too small for us. The great things of God are beyond our control. Therein lies a vast hope. Spontaneous expansion could fill the continents with the knowledge of Christ: our control cannot reach as far as that. We constantly bewail our limitations: open doors unentered; doors closed to us as foreign missionaries; fields white to the harvest which we cannot reap. Spontaneous expansion could enter open doors, force closed ones, and reap those white fields. Our control cannot: it can only appeal pitifully for more men to maintain control.

Other Articles on Roland Allen:

The Legacy of Roland Allen: Part One-His Life
The Legacy of Roland Allen: Part Two-His Philosophy of Missions
The Influence of Roland Allen on 21st Century Church Planting
Audio Presentation on Roland Allen by Dr. J.D. Payne

Not Jesus’ Way

“Christianity isn’t currently spreading rapidly anywhere in the West. That, in and of itself, is an indictment that we are not doing things Jesus’ way.”

-Ross Rhode in Viral Jesus

Learning about Movements from History: Russia & China

China & Russia FlagsWe can learn much by comparing the results of the communist revolution in Russia with that in China. Both were bloody revolutions that attempted militarily to snuff out all opposition, close down all churches, remove all missionaries and incarcerate all of the church leaders.

The church found in Russia prior to the revolution was centered on cathedrals led by priests and was distant from the everyday lives of the people. When communism seized the church and all her assets the people had nothing to turn to spiritually and there was no movement.

In China, leaders such as Watchman Nee, had already made strives to empower ordinary Christians with the Gospel and let indigenous churches form in homes and places of business. As a result, when the revolution occurred the true church was still intact even after her buildings and leaders were taken away.

In fact, the Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse-Tung sought to eliminate all religion from society in China but instead mobilized the church and it grew from about 2 million Christians in 1949 to over 60 million. It is estimated today that there may be upwards of 80 million Christians in China.

Why did the church thrive in China and not in Russia? The foundation of empowering the common Christian in China set the stage for what happened there. The Little Flock movement and others we already in place so that when the heat of persecution hit the church she exploded with growth. There was no such preparation prior to the Soviet Union’s rise to power in Russia.

How will you prepare those in your “flock?”

by Neil Cole

© 2009

Originally posted here
Posted by permision

New Videos Posted @CMAResources

Some new videos have been posted on the CMA Resources website…Check ’em out:

Selecting & Making Disciples – Neil Cole

Sharing his story & about CMA – Mike Jentes for the Grace Brethren

Explanation of Person of Peace – Steve Addison

Modern Example of Person of Peace – Steve Addison

Movements that Change the World – Steve Addison

Consumers or Disciples? – Alan Hirsch

Following Jesus – Francis Chan

Sowing the Gospel – Romanian translation Greenhouse Story 1 Training – Neil Cole

Dumb Mistakes I’ve Made Growing Movements by Erik Fish

For those of us in the Christian world, we often reflect in awe at movements of the gospel in history. Most Jesus followers want to be part of a movement. Many people call themselves one. Few people, I think, understand what they are. Before I tell some of my dumbest mistakes trying to grow a movement, here’s my attempt at a definition for what one actually is for Jesus followers:

MOVEMENT: “The rapidly multiplying, expanding influence of the gospel among a given population, with ensuing transformation in all spheres of life.”

After four years growing a movement on college campuses (or at least trying to), I thought it would be a good time to sit down and evaluate my mistakes. For some bizarre sociological reason, people respond better when I tell them the stupid things I’ve done, rather than just the sweet stories.*

Go figure.

Maybe being honest about our quirks and missteps helps pave the way for others. Before I tell some of my own painful blunders from the last few years, I’ll give myself some anaesthetic by relating a quick story of one failed expedition that led to others’ success.

About 450 years ago, a group of devoted, prayerful Jesuits set out to expand the gospel where it had never been planted before. The Jesuits were founded by ten friends, among them a quirky, often criticized guy named Ignatius of Loyola who once pilgrimaged barefoot all the way to Jerusalem (only to be promptly kicked out of the city and sent home). God often uses strange people to start movements. Ignatiius

The Jesuits were the most prolific force for expanding the gospel in unknown regions prior to (and in many cases, after) the era of modern Protestant missions. Along the way, several of them looked for a faster land route to get from India to China. One of them, Benedetto de Goes, traveled for four years by foot through icy, snow-packed mountains and murderously treacherous deserts searching for a new way to China before finally dying, a thousand miles short of his destination.  Before he died, he left some notes with a traveling merchant that (miraculously) made it back to his Jesuit friends in Europe. The contents of his note basically said:

“Don’t come this way.”

Sometimes our mistakes can help others get where they need to go. (Not to mention, ourselves.)

So, with a shout out to Benedetto, here’s a note from me about a few of my dumb mistakes in growing movements: “Don’t come this way!”

1. Build a Network and Call it a Movement…

… read the rest of Dumb Mistakes I’ve Made Growing Movements  by Erik Fish

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