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Evangelism and Church Planting: Implementing the Ministry Multiplication Cycle

By Peter Law
August 2008

While catalytic points of reference have shifted to include a now stronger, more dominating representation from the Global South, faithful efforts at establishing Christ’s Church in obedience to the commission of Matthew 28:18-20 continue from points all across the globe.

Christian mission has become the responsibility of the Global Church and within that charter we have witnessed the rapid growth of church-planting movements among unreached people groups of the world. Such movements typically involve initial large-scale evangelism followed by the establishment of churches that ideally spawn multiple new church starts. Movements of this kind have been identified in India, Africa, Latin America, China, and areas within Southeast Asia.

  
Fundamental to effective evangelization and establishment
of any Christian witness in the world is the content
of the Christian’s message.

Other less spontaneous movements sharing some, but not all, characteristics of the former manifest a similar vision and mission to promote and facilitate the starting of churches in areas of the world yet unreached or minimally reached with the gospel. Church-planting movements are driven by principles modeled by Jesus. Within the establishment of church-planting movements worldwide, these principles have proven to be universally applicable and effective.

Using the strategy Jesus employed—of moving people from outside the kingdom to becoming believers, disciples, workers, and eventually world Christians—church-planting ministries have consistently employed their own versions of what Crossover Communications International calls the Ministry Multiplication Cycle1, and have found this method to be adaptable within the different cultural contexts. Drawing from Jesus’ pattern of making and mentoring disciples, church-planting ministries usually follow some or all of a 4-step approach in accomplishing the assignment: evangelize unbelievers, establish new Christians through programs of discipleship, equip future church planters by training them with the necessary skills, and extend leaders cross-culturally, having provided them with tools vital to such ministry.

Maintaining the Essential Elements
Fundamental to effective evangelization and establishment of any Christian witness in the world is the content of the Christian’s message: God’s grace extended to the spiritually lost through the coming of his Son at the perfect time in history to live, die, and rise as victor over sin and death on behalf of sinners, opening access into God’s presence for eternity. At the cross, Christ suffered unrelenting hellish bombardment from forces determined to rob the world of his saving grace. Sin viciously hurled every insidious weapon of wickedness at its disposal upon Jesus, until it—sin—was utterly and profoundly exhausted. Humanity’s final enemy was humiliated in defeat and its threatening, intimidating sting removed once and for all, swallowed-up in the victory of our risen Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 54-57). He arose triumphant, His cosmic supremacy jubilantly displayed before the vast throngs of heaven and proclaimed to the ends of the earth through the appointed voices of his commissioned envoys.

Our task in missions is to serve as courageous emissaries of heaven—to boldly present the supremacy of Christ to all religions of the world as the only means by which men, women, and children from every tribe, tongue, and nation may escape God’s judgment through humble repentance and faith.2 The reality that countless lives are transformed, churches planted, and missionary zeal evidenced around the world whenever this message is preached lends testimony to the saving, changing power of Christ’s redemptive grace in the experience of men and women from every culture, tribe, and tongue.

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Dr. Peter Law is president of Crossover-Australia and vice-president of Crossover-USA, overseeing international ministries. When not leading short-term mission teams, he speaks at churches, colleges, schools, and mission conferences, sharing his vision for building God’s kingdom worldwide.