This conversation guide is designed to equip you and your team to make new disciples who can, in turn, make more new disciples. Making new disciples is the foundation for planting ‘church after church’— churches that multiply. This is what the early disciples and apostles did. In new cities and districts, Paul multiplied disciples and then planted multiplying churches. His two years and three months in Ephesus resulted in churches multiplying across what is Turkey today—and ‘all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the Word of the Lord’ (Acts 19:10).
Jesus began His ministry making disciples. Before He ascended He commanded: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations.’ (Matthew 28:19)1 This is our commission. On the evening of His resurrection, He said: ‘As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ (John 20:21)
The starting point for church planting is disciple-making—making new disciples who multiply. A new church plant is a gathering of new disciples.
• The gospels tell of Jesus’ multiplying disciple-making—His model, teaching and commission. He is our example—and the gospels are our manual.
• Acts tells of the early believers following Jesus—and then gathering new disciples into multiplying
church-planting churches. Acts is our manual for church-planting.
The apostles’ vision was bold—that there be no place left where Christ was not known. We are called to more than reporting that new churches have been planted and new members added. The vision is positive and inspiring—to reach the place where we can say: there is no place left in a particular village, town, city, province/region, state or country where Christ is not known.
The vision is that in every place or relational stream— of tribe, language or people—there is a missional community from which the gospel is being shared and multiplied.
Jesus and the apostles were not just “dreaming”of a future, nor did they simply try any method that came from their culture, business or political work—they were proactive in following the Father’s agenda.