The latest issue of MF focuses on the rapid spread of movements and the areas of the world that are seeing amazing growth. The good news is that Kingdom Movements are taking place all over the world; the bad news is that only four movements are taking place in Western Europe, North America and South America combined. Our lead article sounds a call to action for change in the Global North and an in-depth look at what needs to happen. This powerful issue is packed with informative material including an encouraging article about what is happening among the Pygmies in the rainforests of Central Africa, a tribute to Pioneer Missionary Don Richardson, an update from the 24:14 Coalition and much more.See all the articles
This video demonstrates the remaining mission task across the globe by showing which people in the world have no chance of learning about Jesus from someone within their own people group.
Do you want a movement of disciple-making and church-planting to take place in your city, where disciples make disciples and churches plant churches faster than the growth in population? How badly do you want it? Do you want it badly enough to change the way you have always done church or lived your own personal spiritual life? Because if you live in the West or employ Western practices of doing church, then you will most likely need to reconsider your ministry practices if you want any hope of seeing a movement develop in your area.
In the 1990s, intrepid Baptist missionaries were discovering biblical values and processes that consistently catalyzed the kind of outcomes that Donald McGavran once called ‘people movements.’ In 2004 David Garrison published Church Planting Movements that shared what the IMB was learning about movements, and momentum and excitement began to build. Regular readers of Mission Frontiers know that over the last 25 years, and especially the last 15, the Holy Spirit has birthed hundreds of these Disciple Making Movements/ Church Planting Movements among Muslim, Hindu, Chinese, and Buddhist populations—historically resistant peoples that have become Christ followers in unprecedented numbers. At the end of 2018 there were more than 660 such movements. The sheer numbers of movements happening in this century reveals that God is very much moving in the world today. But although dispersed pockets of momentum and some genuine movements do exist in North America, Europe, and Oceania (i.e. the Global North), the vast majority of the movements are in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (i.e. the Global South). Why is that?
What comes to your mind when you hear about a movement of God in which almost 200 churches were started within three years in a remote people group? What comes to your mind when you hear about a movement of God in which 150,000 urban and rural churches were started in a ten-year span? Incredulity may be your first response, perhaps followed by suspicion or excitement. Yet Church Planting Movements (CPMs) like these are spreading around the world in all types of cultures and religious worldviews. In these movements, successive generations of disciples and churches move consistently past the 4thth generation in a short duration of time.
From time to time I will have the people I’m discipling write out their own pastoral obituary. I ask them to write out how our enemy would take them out, rendering them unable to serve their family and communities. As you can imagine, the answers vary, but it always serves as a really helpful exercise as they are forced to confront issues of character, etc.
I was sitting at a table with an old friend who leads a large and thriving church. “We try to make everything easy for the members of our church,” he said to me. “We encourage them to get to know people in our community, whether in their neighborhood or office or anywhere else. Then all they have to do is invite those people to church. At church, those people will hear relevant, gifted communicators in a warm, attractive, and appealing environment where their children can be a part of top-of-the-line programs.” He concluded, “If our members will just invite their friends to the environment we create, then we can take care of the rest.” Then he asked me what we do at Brook Hills. Hesitantly, I said, “We actually do the exact opposite.” “Oh really,” he said. “What do you mean?”
Pastor Ndinga often wakes up very early, because he has a busy schedule. First he goes to check the traps that he expertly sets in several places in the forest, usually a couple of kilometers from his village. Like most Pygmies, from his childhood, he learned how to hunt all kinds of rain forest animals, setting traps on their pathways. Harvesting and resetting traps usually takes him about three hours.
My friend Emmanuel,* a local Haitian Christian leader, had held two conferences at a local Haitian church. On both occasions, Pastor Evens* readily covered the costs for Emmanuel’s travel, food, and service. It made complete sense to Pastor Emmanuel that a local Haitian church should use their own resources to cover expenses for services offered by one of their own.
June 23, 1935–December 23, 2018 Tribute to a Pioneer Missionary, Author & Great Commission Statesman
A runner all his life, missionary influencer and pace-setter Don Richardson completed his life’s race in Orlando, Florida, in Orlando, Florida, ten months after his diagnosis with brain cancer.
Sam* is the national leader of a large six-year-old Church Planting Movement in South Asia. He shared with me a summary of lessons they have learned and applied in their ministry. When he finished, I asked him, “Are these lessons about movement leadership too difficult for less educated people to really grasp?” He responded, “No, actually I learned all these things from the ground level leaders (M, J, R, and others who can’t read)!”
“I haven’t started a DMM yet, so I am not qualified to teach about this,” she said. My friend saw herself as someone who had not yet “arrived” in the world of Disciple Making Movements. The group of house churches this amazing missionary started only reached the third generation. She was an effective disciple-maker. Her disciples were certainly making other disciples. She embodied both the DNA and the vision to see movements launched. “Is the bar too high?” I wondered after hearing her say this . “After all, there are less than 700 movements in the world.” Those movement leaders are busy training leaders within their movement’s streams. Somebody has to teach about the multiplication of disciples and DMMs!” Why not her?
A number of years ago, I was working on a Church Planting Movement (CPM) assessment team that was evaluating the presence of a large CPM in South Asia among Muslim background believers. Our team divided into pairs as sub-teams to head to various parts of the country to interview dozens of precious believers—some new in their faith and some leaders of churches or networks of churches. When the various sub-teams returned to the capital, a wide range of emotions was evident based on the findings the various pairs had turned up. Those that went to the oldest areas of the movement had an amazingly uplifting time of testimony after testimony of God bringing salvation to places that had previously been demonic strongholds. These teams were elated to say the least. They had seen God’s hand working in power.
It is a privilege for me to be able to travel globally and connect with mission leaders. I have good friends all over the world. I often joke with conference organizers, “THANKS so much for organizing this event so I can meet some of my friends!”