Testing the health of a multiplying movement

Don Dent and a team took a trip to Asia to test the health of a multiplying movement which has planted 20,000 churches in eight years.

Here's a summary of what they found.

  1. These churches multiply, i.e. churches plant churches that plant churches.
  2. Evangelism is normative among these churches and a large portion of the believers are actively sharing their faith.
  3. There is accountability to share the gospel.
  4. Almost all additions to local churches are through baptism following conversion from another religion. 
  5. New churches result primarily from evangelism and baptisms instead of planning, money raising, and grand openings. 
  6. I met several teenagers who have already started one or more churches. 
  7. Local church leadership is almost always chosen from within the group on the basis of who is faithful in sharing their faith and training the new believers in discipleship.
  8. Intensive mentoring is a primary means of raising up quality leaders. 
  9. These churches show deep commitment to mission partnership. One network of churches gives 30% of their offerings to mission work outside their local church. 
  10. Although gospel proclamation is the priority in ministry, the believers also pray for the sick and demonized.
  11. A commitment to on-the-job practical training is essential to growth. 
  12. Several networks that are approximately five years old have planted churches in several other countries. 
  13. A majority of the leadership is between the ages of 22-40.
  14. False teachers are trying to infiltrate the church, but leaders are equipped to counter them. 
  15. This growth is taking place in a climate of persecution, where it is illegal to become a Christian. Believers can be beaten, thrown out of the village, and jailed.

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