The January/February 2020 issue features an in-depth look at Disciple Making Movements. The vision for DMMs is now bursting forth from the mission field and impacting the ministries of existing churches around the world and in the USA. A powerful example of this is our cover story about a church in Lubbock, Texas called Experience Life. The wonderful stories of growth and vision coming from Disciple Making Movements in various places around the world directly impacted the vision of Pastor Chris Galanos and his ministry team. After 10 years, the megachurch he pastored saw a dramatic transition as God led their ministry in a completely different direction with a significantly changed vision. This issue also includes a 24:14 Coalition report, a book review of Why Movements Rise and Fall, a Zume Project update and a lot of other great content that you can always expect!See all the articles
The vision for Disciple Making Movements, powerfully demonstrated by over 1,035 of these growing movements, is now bursting forth from the mission field and impacting the ministries of existing churches around the world. An amazing example of this is our cover story this time, namely, Experience Life, a church in Lubbock, Texas. The wonderful stories of growth and vision coming from Disciple Making Movements in various places around the world directly impacted the vision of Pastor Chris Galanos and his ministry team at eLife. Led by the Spirit and guided by wise counsel, they took the incredibly courageous step of transitioning their “very successful” megachurch to focusing on equipping their people to be disciplemakers and church-planters with the vision of reaching 1,000,000 people in their area over the next 10 years. Their ultimate goal is to partner with many others to catalyze movements that will ultimately impact over 200 million people in the United States. They are firmly convinced that God can launch movements like this here
If you were to walk into our church during the first 10 years and then walk in now, you’d probably feel as if you’d entered two totally different churches. And you’d be right. The focus of this story played out in my book, From Megachurch to Multiplication. This is a story about our church’s journey from being one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States to a church now focused primarily on catalyzing movements.
A teacher we knew in a school connected us with the social worker on-site who works with each of the families. I told her we were looking for families in the neighborhood whom we could serve. She was excited about our desire to help and said she had many children at the school whose families were deeply in need. She asked me, “How many families do you want?” She was willing to give us as many as we wanted to serve. I could hardly believe it.
I’m a little concerned that DMMs are becoming a fad … a popular idea lots of people get excited about without having any idea what is involved in launching and sustaining one. “I’m doing DMM!” they declare before understanding what that means. It’s not that I don’t want more people to start DMMs. On the contrary! I would that every Christian understood DMM principles and began applying them in their lives, that every church worked to morph into a multiplying movement of disciples making disciples.
MF: How did you go about casting the vision for disciple-making to your church members? CG: We started by introducing the concepts through two sermon series at our church. The first sermon series was called “Meltdown: The Decline of the American Church” and it was based on the book, The Great Evangelical Recession by John Dickerson. In order to cast a compelling vision for disciple-making, you first need to establish that you’re either not doing it or not doing it very well. If people assume they’re already doing it well, casting vision for it is more difficult because they’re already convinced they’re doing what you’re casting vision for.
On the back cover of this latest release Addison describes a movement as “what God can do when you let go of control and multiply disciples and churches.” With just over 200 pages, the book is organized around eight chapters using what Addison identifies as “the lifecycle of a movement.” He summarizes his central premise, “at every stage of the movement lifecycle the way forward begins with returning to Jesus, the apostle and pioneer of our faith.
In this edition of Mission Frontiers you will read about a large church that decided to redeploy itself around multiplying disciples for movements. As you know, disciples and movements are both major topics in MF on a consistent basis, and the story of such a church is a fitting and noteworthy focus of our attention. I want to connect that to Scripture, in a perhaps surprising section of the Bible, and also to the frontiers of mission.
People around the world are excited about the 24:14 Coalition.1 Leaders and catalysts of movements across the globe have begun working together to identify unreached people groups (UPGs) and places. Fresh efforts are developing to bring gospel witness among those peoples and places. But while some rejoice, others protest, seeing 24:14 as a shallow bandwagon—long on zeal and short on missiological depth. In weighing the apprehensions, both scholarly and popular, it appears many of the concerns arise from misunderstandings. In this article, I hope to clarify some that recently appeared in print.
Here’s a report from the frontlines on the Zúme Project. As you read this, we’ll be going into year three of this mission to train reproducing disciples and planting multiplying churches around the world through free online training designed for “non-professionals” and delivered in the languages of the nations. As we write this, we’re about two and a half years post-launch.
In I Kings 8, Solomon prays at the dedication of the temple. Verses 41–43 reflect Solomon’s understanding of God’s purposes to bless all people. He prays, Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. When they hear about your great reputation and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds, they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple.