What Jesus Started: Synopsis


The Christian movement began with Jesus. He founded something completely new in human history and his achievement has never been matched.

Every new generation of his disciples must sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from his example as the founder of a missionary movement.

What does that look like? What do missionary movements do? What Jesus Started identifies the six activities that characterized the ministry of Jesus as it began in the Gospels, and as it continued through his followers in the book of Acts.

  1. See the need. Missionary movements respond to God’s call to join his mission. They are moved with compassion for lost people and do not rest until the good news of salvation through Christ is proclaimed, and communities of disciples are formed, throughout the inhabited world.
  2. Connect with people. Movements cross boundaries to establish contact with non-Christians. They seek out responsive people, who have been prepared by God to welcome the messenger and take the message to the people in their world.
  3. Share the gospel. Movements share the good news of Jesus the Messiah and Savior. They equip new disciples to become the means by which the good news spreads throughout their communities.
  4. Train disciples. Movements lead people to faith in Jesus Christ and teach them to obey what Jesus has commanded including the command to make disciples of others.
  5. Gather communities. Movements form new believers into the local communities of the followers of Jesus Each community of disciples is responsible to reach its region in depth and to contribute money, prayer, and workers who take the gospel to unreached regions.
  6. Multiply workers. Missionary movements send out workers into new, unreached fields to advance the spread of the gospel and the formation of new communities of disciples.

There were no precedents in the ancient world for what Jesus achieved. There were no movements—religious, political, or cultural—that intentionally sought to expand geographically and cross-culturally throughout the known world.

What Jesus started continues today. Not a dying institution, but a vibrant living movement of his disciples following a risen Lord to the ends of the earth and the end of history.