Ed Stetzer on the Power of Multiplication

Exponential

In order to have the true power of multiplication in the church, there needs to be a movement. There needs to be an overwhelming movement toward the idea of multiplication in churches.

We keep trying to turn the volume up to 11, but it is hard to do that without a movement. So we gathered a group of missiologists together at the Send Institute to create a church planting manifesto. I wanted to share some sections of it today that speak on the power of multiplication so you can spread the message and help grow this movement.

Here are four thoughts on the power of multiplication from the manifesto.

Every Believer is a Disciple Maker with a Holy Calling and Vocation

If we are going to actually see a movement, we are going to have to release God’s people so they’re not customers of the religious goods and services that we’re distributing in our new, better churches. Instead, they need to not be customers, but be co-laborers in this gospel work of disciple-making.

This would mean that every believer would acknowledge that she or he is a disciple maker for the glory of God. Right now, we are creating wonderful new expressions of churches that may be better than those that came before in some people’s eyes. However, at the end of that, they have not released God’s people to be the disciple-makers. We need to believe that every person that is a believer has a holy calling specifically chosen for them by God.

God’s people need to be co-laborers in the gospel work of disciple-making, not customers.

Movements Require Local Churches to Take on the Responsibility of Parent Church Planting Teams

If your church has not planted a church in five years, 10 years, or even a hundred years, it’s time to get busy and start making some baby churches. 

Local churches need to be the ones that assume responsibility when it comes to church planting teams. The churches need to be the ones that spur this movement as well as support this movement.

All these churches are on this Great Commission highway that goes back 2000 years. Most churches speak about the Great Commission and how to lead people to eternal salvation in Jesus.

Yet, we have literally hundreds of thousands of churches in North America alone that have become cul-de-sac on God’s Great Commission highway. These churches are not seeking out the power in multiplication. Instead, they are focused on things such as church growth for their church only and thus slowing down the process. 

We’re not called to be the dead end to the multiplication mission.

Church Multiplication is Not Traditional

One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the power of multiplication will not lie in traditional methods of education and experience. I have trained people at an undergraduate level as well as a master’s level and I love the privilege to do it. That being said,  I don’t want you to miss this. We are not going to reach the world with traditional approaches to education and credentialing.

This is because the world needs Jesus. It needs to take what Jesus gave us and multiply. This is the only way to release a whole lot of new people on ministry and mission. To know that people have a holy calling and a vocation means to equip them with whatever they need for battle, not forcing them onto strict guidelines for their education and experience.

The Power of Multiplication Is Diverse

When we multiply the church, we want the church to look like what it will be looking like in Heaven. In other words, we are going to need to mobilize all different kinds of people and a whole lot of them are not going to look like me and they are not going to look like you. All that matters though is that they are going to be on mission for Jesus. Let’s not miss this.

I want a movement in our time that is all about the power of multiplication. If you want that too, that means we’ve got to make some changes in the way we’re doing church planting. We are going to have to find some ways to unleash. We will need to learn how to mobilize those who are made for more. If we do this, they might show and share the love of Jesus in the midst of a broken and hurting world.

 I thank God for the beauty of our worship and how we’re encouraging one another here today. However, sisters and brothers, I want to encourage you to join us in the manifesto to say we’re not going to accept the status quo. We want to start a movement where the power of multiplication can have no end.

*adapted from Ed Stetzer’s main stage message Exponential Orlando 2019